Papillary Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Uterine Cervix: Biopsy Samples Frequently Underrepresent the Presence of Stromal Invasion

Smiljana Spasić, Atousa Ordobazari, Mehrdad Nadji, Marilyn Huang, Andre Pinto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Papillary squamous cell carcinoma is a rare variant of squamous cell carcinoma, histologically characterized by thin or broad papillae lined by epithelium showing the features of high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion. Given the exophytic nature of these neoplasms, the diagnosis, assessment and quantification of invasion may be difficult in small biopsies. The goal of this study was to determine the presence and extent of cervical stromal invasion by comparing biopsy samples with excisional specimens in a cohort of patients diagnosed with papillary squamous cell carcinoma. Cases were identified from the surgical pathology files between the years 2003 and 2018 and only cases in which the patients underwent an excisional procedure following the diagnostic biopsy were included. Eighteen cases were identified. Patients age ranged 21 to 72 yr (mean: 46.2 yr). Review of the initial, presurgical biopsies showed that 17/18 (94%) patients had no evidence of stromal invasion. In the surgical excision specimens (2 cone biopsies, 1 loop electrosurgical excision procedure, and 15 hysterectomies), 13 cases (76.5%) showed invasive squamous cell carcinoma. Tumor sizes ranged 1.0 to 6.1 cm; stromal invasion ranged in depth 0.2 to 2.2 cm (median: 1.2), and in horizontal length 0.3 to 4.0 cm (median: 2.01). Papillary squamous cell carcinoma is a rare variant of squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix that may impose some diagnostic difficulties in small biopsies. Our findings demonstrated that the significant majority of cases might only show the presence of invasive cancer in excisional samples. Awareness of this data is important to guide proper management and avoid under-treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Pathology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Human papilloma virus
  • Invasion
  • Papillary
  • Squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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