This is an immunohistochemical and ultrastructural study of two small cell carcinomas of the ovary with a review of the literature. These cases showed a dimorphic population of small and large cells sharply demarcated from each other. Cytokeratin 18 and vimentin were mainly expressed in the large tumour cells, some of which also stained for alpha-smooth muscle actin. Periodic-acid-Schiff-positive, alpha-1-antitrypsin-positive hyaline globules were present in one case. Ultrastructural findings included filamentous nucleolonema as well as evidence of smooth muscle differentiation. Some of these observations have not been previously reported. Certain of the above features seem to support a germ cell origin of small cell carcinoma, but they cannot be considered specific for germ cell neoplasms. Thus, small cell carcinoma of the ovary cannot be classified into one of the known categories of ovarian tumours at the present time.
- Literature review
- Small cell carcinoma