Endometrial Adenocarcinoma in Situ in Complex Atypical Hyperplasia: Correlation with Findings in Subsequent Hysterectomy Specimen

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Well-differentiated endometrial adenocarcinoma can be difficult to distinguish from complex atypical hyperplasia (CAH) in a curettage or biopsy specimen. When a focus of back-to-back glands or cribriforming smaller than 2.1 mm is seen in a biopsy, we make a diagnosis of adenocarcinoma in situ (AIS). Whether this diagnosis translates into a more frequent diagnosis of carcinoma on the hysterectomy specimen is unknown. The objective of this study was to compare follow-up hysterectomy findings in biopsies showing AIS in CAH with biopsies showing only CAH without AIS. Twelve biopsy/curettage cases diagnosed as endometrial AIS in CAH and 12 biopsy/curettage cases diagnosed as CAH only were reviewed and correlated with corresponding hysterectomy material. A diagnosis of AIS was designated on biopsy/curettings when a focus of back-to-back glands or cribriforming less than 2.1 mm was present. Hysterectomy specimens showed endometrial carcinoma in 6 (50%) of 12 cases of CAH with AIS, and in 2 (17%) of 12 cases diagnosed as CAH only. Endometrial carcinoma with myometrial invasion was identified in 5 (42%) of the cases showing AIS on biopsy, but in none of the 12 cases diagnosed as CAH only on biopsy. Identification of AIS in CAH cases provides useful prognostic information. Int J Surg Pathol 12(3):225-230, 2004

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