Foamy gland changes in gastric-type endocervical neoplasia

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Foamy gland (FG) change is a distinctive morphological alteration most widely recognised in adenocarcinomas of the prostate and pancreas, and characterised by cells showing prominent cytoplasmic microvacuolation often with deceptively bland nuclear appearances. To our knowledge, FG alteration has not been described in endocervical neoplasia. We report four patients with gastric-type endocervical neoplasms (3 invasive and 1 in situ) in which FG change was present in 30–80% of the tumour cells. The mean age was 56.5 years (range 45–66 years) and three patients, one of whom also had post-coital bleeding, had atypical glandular cells detected on cervical cytology. Three cases showed a pure gastric phenotype and benign gastric-type changes including pyloric metaplasia, tunnel clusters and/or lobular endocervical glandular hyperplasia were also present. These cases were MUC6 positive and p16 negative on immunohistochemistry while HPV was not detected. One adenocarcinoma showed a mixed histological pattern including usual-type endocervical carcinoma and gastric-type adenocarcinoma: only the latter component expressed MUC6 and this case was p16 and HPV18 positive. This report expands the morphological spectrum exhibited by gastric-type endocervical lesions and the range of anatomical sites in which neoplasms with FG features may be encountered.

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