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Intraoperative Assessment of Clear Cell Carcinoma of the Ovary

Stewart, Colin J. R. F.R.C.P.A.; Brennan, Barbara A. F.R.C.P.A.; Hammond, Ian G. F.R.A.N.Z.C.O.G.; Leung, Yee C. F.R.A.N.Z.C.O.G.; McCartney, Anthony J. F.R.A.N.Z.C.O.G.; Ruba, Sukeerat F.R.C.P.A.

International Journal of Gynecological Pathology: October 2008 - Volume 27 - Issue 4 - p 475-482
doi: 10.1097/PGP.0b013e31816b5cff

Frozen section is a reliable technique in gynecologic pathology and is widely used to guide intraoperative management in patients presenting with ovarian masses. However, there are limited data regarding the diagnostic accuracy of frozen section in specific subtypes of ovarian neoplasia. Our impression that primary clear cell carcinoma (CCC) causes disproportionate diagnostic difficulty led us to review the intraoperative and final histopathologic reports from a consecutive series of 44 CCC that were subject to frozen-section assessment and to compare the results with a similar number of primary serous and endometrioid carcinomas. The original intraoperative slides from those CCC with discordant diagnoses were also reviewed. Review of the diagnostic reports showed that CCC was less frequently specifically identified than serous or endometrioid carcinomas on frozen section (44% cases compared with 55% and 65%, respectively), although the differences were not statistically significant. Difficulties in distinguishing primary ovarian carcinoma from tumors metastatic to the ovary occurred in a minority of cases of all histologic subtypes, but was slightly more frequent in CCC. Two CCC were misdiagnosed as borderline epithelial tumors and 1 case as a dysgerminoma. Review of the frozen-section slides from the CCC with discrepant intraoperative diagnoses showed features suggestive or indicative of the correct diagnosis in 7 (39%) of 18 cases.

Departments of Histopathology (C.J.R.S., B.A.B., S.R.)

Gynecological Oncology (I.G.H., Y.C.L., A.J.M.C.), King Edward Memorial Hospital and SJOG Pathology, Perth, Australia

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Dr Colin J. R. Stewart, FRCPA, Department of Histopathology, King Edward Memorial Hospital, Subiaco, Western Australia 6008, Australia. E-mail:

©2008International Society of Gynecological Pathologists