Survivin Expression in Simple Endometrial Polyps and Tamoxifen-associated Endometrial Polyps

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Endometrial polyps are benign pathologies originating as localized overgrowths of basal endometrium. Risk factors include endogenous and exogenous estrogen excess and tamoxifen (TAM) exposure. Our main objective was to investigate the role of an apoptosis-inhibiting protein, survivin, in endometrial polyps. We performed a cross-sectional, analytical study; our samples were obtained from the archives of the Department of Pathology. Sixty samples were included, comprising 20 TAM polyps, 20 simple endometrial polyps, and 20 cases of simple endometrial hyperplasia without atypia not associated with TAM use. Immunohistochemical staining with rabbit monoclonal anti-human survivin, clone EP 119, was performed. Survivin staining score was highest in the endometrial polyp group and lowest in the TAM polyp group (P<0.001). There was no correlation between survivin staining score and the age of patient (r=0.09), TAM exposure (r=−0.02), nor endometrial thickness (r=0.25). Endometrial polyps are frequently associated with TAM. The low expression of the antiapoptotic marker survivin in TAM polyps but high expression in other polypoid endometrium illustrates that different mechanisms are responsible in the pathogenesis of endometrial polyps. It is possible that there is a direct effect of TAM on apoptosis or indirect effect through a progesterone-related mechanism.

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