Immunohistochemistry of unclassified sex cord-stromal tumors of the testis with a predominance of spindle cells

Andrew A. Renshaw, Melissa Gordon, Christopher L. Corless

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51 Scopus citations


Unclassified sex cord-stromal tumors (SCSTs) of the testis comprised predominantly of spindle cells can be difficult to classify. To achieve better definition of these tumors, we examined the histologic, histochemical, and ultrastructural features of four unclassified SCSTs with spindle-cell features, and compared their immunohistochemical features with those of 24 other SCSTs of the testis and ovary. Three of the spindle-cell tumors were composed of relatively short spindled cells with prominent nuclear grooves and intermixed epithelioid cells. All of the three were located adjacent to the rete testis. The fourth case consisted of elongate spindle cells that were reminiscent of smooth muscle. In all of the four cases, reticulin enveloped aggregates of cells of various sizes but not individual cells. Ultrastructural analysis of two of the spindle-cell tumors revealed desmosomes, numerous thin filaments, and focal dense bodies. Immunohistochemically, all of the four tumors were reactive for S-100 protein and smooth muscle actin. Staining for S-100 protein and smooth muscle actin was also observed in three of six granulosa cell minors and both juvenile granulosa cell tumors. Although variable staining for S-100 protein was found in 5 of the 12 other SCSTs (4 Leydig cell, 6 Sertoli-Leydig cell, and 2 unclassifiable ovarian SCSTs), reactivity for smooth muscle actin was present in only 1 Sertoli-Leydig cell tumor. In contrast, all of the four ovarian fibromas/thecomas were reactive for smooth muscle actin but failed to stain for S-100 protein. Taken together, the histologic, histochemical, immunohistochemical, and ultrastructural features of the spindle-cell tumors are similar to those of granulosa cell tumors. Reactivity for S-100 protein and smooth muscle actin is characteristic of these tumors. These tumors should be distinguished from other unclassified SCSTs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)693-700
Number of pages8
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1997


  • Granulosa cell tumors
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Sex cord-stromal tumor
  • Testicular neoplasms
  • Ultrastructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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