Small cell carcinoma of the cervix: A clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical study of 23 cases

Academic Article


  • Twenty-three patients with primary small cell carcinoma of the uterine cervix are presented. Their ages ranged between 23 and 63 years (average, 43 years). Blood spotting or vaginal bleeding was the most common clinical presentation. Histologically, the tumors were densely cellular and showed trabecular nesting or a sheet-like pattern. The neoplastic cells had scant cytoplasm, round nuclei, absence of nucleoli, and finely dispersed chromatin. Nuclear molding, single cell necrosis, and high mitotic activity were found in all tumors. There was a minor component of large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma in three cases, while foci of adenocarcinoma were identified in two cases. Immunohistochemical studies were performed in all 23 tumors which showed immunoreactivity for cytokeratin. Ten small cell carcinomas were immunoreactive for chromogranin, 13 for synaptophysin, and 10 expressed p53 protein. Treatment modalities included hysterectomy alone or combined with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. A few patients received chemotherapy and/or radiation alone. Follow-up information was obtained in 22 cases; 15 patients died of tumor between 6 and 43 months, while seven patients have remained alive 12 to 273 months. One patient was lost to follow-up. Small cell carcinoma of the cervix is a highly aggressive neoplasm. However, early diagnosis and combined therapeutic modalities may lead to longer survival in some patients. Although the use of immunohistochemistry may be helpful in the diagnosis, small cell carcinoma still remains a morphologic diagnosis. Copyright 2002, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.
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    Author List

  • Conner MG; Richter H; Moran CA; Hameed A; Albores-Saavedra J
  • Start Page

  • 345
  • End Page

  • 348
  • Volume

  • 6
  • Issue

  • 6