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Pathology Research International
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 674748, 6 pages
Research Article

Clear Cell Carcinomas of the Mullerian System: Does the Pathogenesis Vary Depending on Their Nuclear Grade and Their Association with Endometriosis? An Immunohistochemical Analysis

Department of Pathology, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Women & Infants Hospital, 101 Dudley Street, Providence, RI 02905, USA

Received 24 May 2012; Revised 21 September 2012; Accepted 24 September 2012

Academic Editor: Paulette Mhawech-Fauceglia

Copyright © 2012 Ahmad Alduaij et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Clear cell carcinomas (CCC) of the mullerian system are considered high grade tumors, but morphologically, the cells of CCC show both low and high grade features. The aims of the current study were to categorize CCC into low and high nuclear grade types, correlate their association with endometriosis, and then observe possible variations in pathogenesis based on their expression of p53 and Ki-67. We studied 41 pure mullerian CCCs and designated each as either a high (HNG) or low (LNG) nuclear grade tumor. Morphologically, 17 (41%) CCCs were LNG and 24 (59%) were HNG. Nine (38%) HNG and 2 (12%) LNG tumors showed positive immunostaining with p53. Endometriosis was associated with 8 (47%) LNG tumors and 8 (33%) HNG CCCs. Of the 11 cases with p53 alteration, 4 (1 LNG and 3 HNG) were associated with endometriosis. Conclusions: HNG CCCs, irrespective of their association with endometriosis, have alterations of p53. In general, LNG ovarian and endometrial CCCs, irrespective of their association with endometriosis/adenomyosis, are less likely to show p53 alteration. It appears that mullerian CCCs may have variable pathogenesis depending on their nuclear grade and association with endometriosis. A larger study is needed to validate these findings.