Adenocarcinoma of the uterine cervix, gastric-type (GAS): a review of the literature focused on pathology and multimodality imaging

Abdom Radiol (NY). 2023 Feb;48(2):713-723. doi: 10.1007/s00261-022-03724-w. Epub 2022 Nov 5.


Adenocarcinoma of the uterine cervix, gastric-type (GAS) is a rare, well-differentiated subtype of HPV-independent endocervical adenocarcinoma. It classically arises in middle-aged women with symptoms, including profuse watery vaginal discharge and abnormal uterine bleeding. Given the rarity of this disease, misdiagnosis is common and prognosis remains poorly defined. Distinct pathology and imaging findings can aid in diagnosis. A literature review was performed to ascertain recurring pathologic and radiologic characteristics of GAS. Key pathologic features of GAS include cytologically benign appearing mucinous glands that infiltrate into the deep stroma and may demonstrate lymphovascular or perineural invasion. Multiple imaging modalities including transvaginal ultrasound, CT, and MRI may aid in diagnosis of GAS, which characteristically is seen as a multicystic mass with solid components. MRI in particular is the preferred imaging study because it offers the best chance of identifying a potential solid component, which is key to making the diagnosis of GAS and distinguishing it from other endocervical diseases processes. Careful attention to histopathologic and radiologic details, in conjunction with clinical correlation, is necessary to distinguish GAS from other multicystic cervical lesions.

Keywords: Adenoma malignum; Cervix; Gastric-type adenocarcinoma; Imaging; MRI; Pathology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma* / pathology
  • Cervix Uteri / diagnostic imaging
  • Cervix Uteri / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms* / diagnostic imaging
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms* / pathology