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Uterine PEComa: appraisal of a controversial and increasingly reported mesenchymal neoplasm

By Oluwole Fadare


In recent years, a group of tumors that have been designated "perivascular epithelioid cell tumors" (PEComa) have been reported with increasing frequency from a wide variety of anatomic locations. The uterus and retroperitoneum appear to be the most frequent sites of origin for these lesions. PEComas belong to an identically named family of tumors comprised of conventional angiomyolipomas, clear cell sugar tumors, lymphangiomyomatosis and clear cell myomelanocytic tumor of the falciform ligament/ligament teres, and are also known as PEComa-NOS. This article is a primer for clinicians on the most salient clinicopathologic features of uterine PEComas, as most of the debate and discussion have taken place in the pathologic literature. The author appraises in detail the current state of knowledge on PEComas of the uterus based on a review of published data on the 44 previously reported cases, and comments on areas of controversy. The latter are centered predominantly on the significant morphologic and immunophenotypic overlap that exists between uterine PEComa and some smooth muscle tumors of the uterus. The clinicopathologic features of cases reported as epithelioid smooth muscle tumors and cases reported as uterine PEComas are compared and contrasted, and a practical approach to their reporting is proposed

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