Stromal hyalinization in ovarian clear cell carcinomas has been suggested to be caused by deposition of basement membrane (BM) material, but the biological and diagnostic significance of this finding remains unknown. The distribution of BM material in 17 primary ovarian clear cell carcinomas was examined semiquantitatively using hematoxylin and eosin-stained sections and immunohistochemistry with antibodies to laminin and type IV collagen. For comparison, other surface epithelial tumors, including 8 serous tumors of low malignant potential, 10 serous adenocarcinomas, 6 mucinous tumors of low malignant potential, 5 mucinous adenocarcinomas, 6 endometrioid carcinomas, 4 Brenner tumors, 1 transitional cell carcinoma, and 3 undifferentiated carcinomas, were examined. Stromal hyalinization was found in all 17 clear cell carcinomas and was immunoreactive for type IV collagen and laminin. Other types of surface epithelial tumor lacked these findings. In clear cell carcinoma, areas showing a papillary pattern tended to show abundant deposition regardless of nuclear grade, whereas in solid, tubular, or cystic areas, the deposition was more prominent in areas showing high-nuclear-grade features (grade 2 and 3) than in areas with low-nuclear-grade features (grade 1). Dense deposition of BM material recognized as stromal hyalinization on hematoxylin and eosin-stained sections in primary ovarian clear cell carcinoma is a characteristic feature that is not seen in other ovarian surface epithelial tumors. This matrix production correlates with high-nuclear-grade features and papillary growth pattern.
©1999International Society of Gynecological Pathologists