Brenner tumor of the ovary: a comparative immunohistochemical and ultrastructural study with transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder

N G Ordóñez, B Mackay
Ultrastructural Pathology 2000, 24 (3): 157-67
Because of a fancied light microscopic resemblance to transitional epithelium (urothelium), Brenner tumor (BT) of the ovary is commonly described as a transitional cell neoplasm. An inability to detect a great deal of similarity between the two at the ultrastructural level prompted this electron microscopic study comparing 3 benign Brenner tumors with normal urothelium and 6 transitional cell carcinomas (TCC) of varying histologic grade from the urinary bladder. To complement the ultrastructural observations, the immunophenotype of 8 benign BTs was evaluated together with that of 12 TCCs of the bladder using antibodies to thrombomodulin (TM), cytokeratin 20, cytokeratin 7, and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), all of which have been shown to react with TCCs of urothelial origin. At the ultrastructural level, there was only limited evidence of a morphologic likeness between the epithelial cells of BTs and those of the benign or neoplastic urothelium. The immunophenotype of the two tumors also differed significantly in that there was no reactivity for TM or cytokeratin 20 in the BTs, while these markers were expressed in the TCCs. Both BTs and TCCs were positive for cytokeratin 7 and may express CEA.

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