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Gastric‐type endocervical adenocarcinoma and cervical cytology: Experience at a general hospital and review of the literature

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Gastric-type endocervical adenocarcinoma (GAS) is an uncommon type of endocervical adenocarcinoma that is not associated with human papillomavirus infection. This diagnosis is relatively rare and may portend a worse prognosis than usual-type endocervical adenocarcinoma. Subtle morphological features make it an under-recognised diagnostic challenge. Study of the cytological features of individual cases is valuable in order to increase awareness of this entity.


The pathology database of our institution was searched for the diagnosis of GAS and all cytological and surgical specimens for each patient were reviewed. The original cytological interpretation was compared to a retrospective central review interpretation. Clinical history and follow-up results were obtained from the electronic medical record.


Four cases of GAS were identified. The findings on initial cervical cytology varied, with GAS found in both patients with negative cervical cytology and those with atypical glandular cells. Cytological findings included endocervical cells arranged in three-dimensional clusters and honeycomb sheets with abundant vacuolar cytoplasm, and in two patients, moderate nuclear atypia with irregular nuclear membranes, coarse chromatin, hyperchromatic nuclei, and prominent nucleoli. In one patient, GAS was incidentally discovered via thorough sampling of a cystic lesion in the superior portion of the endocervical canal.


GAS is an aggressive human papillomavirus-independent type of endocervical adenocarcinoma with subtle morphological features and, as our study shows, varying clinical presentation. Given the aggressive nature of GAS and the difficulties in initial diagnosis, increased awareness of this entity among pathologists is crucial.

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