Ovarian steroid cell tumors: An immunohistochemical study including a comparison of calretinin with inhibin

Michael T. Deavers, Anais Malpica, Nelson G. Ordonez, Elvio G. Silva

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68 Scopus citations


Ovarian steroid cell tumors, not otherwise specified (SCTs, NOS) are uncommon sex cord-stromal tumors that may be difficult to distinguish from other oxyphilic or clear-cell neoplasms. Immunohistochemical staining for inhibin, although generally useful in the diagnosis of SCTs, NOS, is not positive in every case and not all laboratories have this marker available. Recently, it has been reported that calretinin is expressed by sex cord-stromal tumors. We studied six SCTs, NOS for both calretinin and inhibin expression to evaluate the sensitivity of calretinin in comparison to inhibin. We also tested for CD99, Melan-A (A103), and S-100, other markers reported to be positive in these tumors. HMB-45 and MART-1 (Ab3) completed our panel of markers. All six tumors were positive for both calretinin and inhibin. Calretinin positivity was present in 60% to >90% of tumor cells, whereas inhibin reactivity ranged from <5% to >90% of tumor cells. Membranous staining for CD99 was present in one tumor. S-100-positive cells were seen in two tumors, whereas four tumors were immunoreactive for HMB-45. All six tumors were positive for Melan-A (A103), but in general the staining was less diffuse than with calretinin. All of the tumors were essentially negative for MART-1 (Ab3). The consistent diffuse staining of the tumors in this study for calretinin, in comparison to inhibin and Melan-A (A103), suggests that it is a sensitive marker for SCTs, NOS. MART-1 (Ab3) immunostaining may be useful for cases in which melanoma is considered in the differential diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)162-167
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecological Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003


  • Calretinin
  • HMB-45
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Inhibin
  • MART-1
  • Melan-A
  • Ovary
  • S-100
  • Sex cord-stromal tumor
  • Steroid cell tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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