Low-grade smooth muscle tumors of the primary and the secondary mullerian system: A proposed concept of multicentricity

Lorena Posligua, Elvio G. Silva, Michael T. Deavers, Maria J. Merino, Anais Malpica

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Some patients with bland smooth muscle tumors in the uterus have synchronous or asynchronous smooth muscle tumors in the peritoneum and/or the retroperitoneum. It is usually assumed that the uterine tumor is the primary lesion, and the extrauterine neoplasm represents its metastasis. Thus, they are designated as low-grade leiomyosarcomas because they lack the diagnostic features of a conventional spindle cell leiomyosarcoma. Nineteen such cases were retrieved from the files of the Department of Pathology at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, covering a period of 18 yr. Institutional Review Board approval was obtained before the initiation of this study. In addition, 31 cases of conventional uterine leiomyosarcomas of a high grade were reviewed for comparison. Clinicopathologic features such as patients' age, tumor location, histologic features, stage, treatment, and follow-up were recorded. Immunohistochemical stains for estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), p53, Ki-67, and WT-1 were performed in the initially detected tumor and the subsequent neoplasm of all cases with available material in the low-grade group and selected cases in the high-grade group. Compared with high-grade leiomyosarcomas, the low-grade group cases were found at an early age (45 vs. 52.8 yr), had a longer median time of "recurrence" (42 mo for the low-grade group vs. 12 mo for high-grade leiomyosarcomas), longer median survival (165 mo for the low-grade group vs. 41 mo for the high-grade group), and a much better overall survival (84% vs. 13%). Three (16%) patients died of disease in the low-grade group versus 27 (87%) patients in the high-grade leiomyosarcoma group. We also found a difference in the location of the extrauterine tumors. Most cases of low-grade tumors were found in the pelvis, abdomen, or retroperitoneum, whereas most high-grade leiomyosarcomas involved the lung. In the low-grade tumors, there were some differences in the immunophenotype between the uterine and the extrauterine neoplasms, but in the high-grade tumors, there were no differences in the immunohistochemistry between the primary tumor and the metastasis. In addition to these differences between the 2 groups in the age of the patients, sites of recurrences, and the immunophenotype of the uterine and extrauterine tumor, neither the uterine nor the extrauterine low-grade lesions had histologic features of malignancy. On the basis of these differences, the possibility that the extrauterine lesions in the low-grade group represent independent primaries involving the secondary mullerian system is proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-555
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Female genital tract
  • Leiomyosarcoma
  • Low-grade leiomyosarcoma
  • Ovary
  • Peritoneum
  • Retroperitoneum
  • Smooth muscle tumor
  • Smooth muscle tumor of uncertain malignant potential
  • Uterus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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