Granulosa cell tumor of the ovary: Cytologic findings

Sravankumar Kavuri, Renuka Kulkarni, Michelle Reid-Nicholson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe the cytologic findings in 6 adult variants of granuloma cell tumors (AGCTs) and 1 juvenile variant (JGCT), emphasizing differences between recurrent/metastatic (REC AGCT) and nonrecurrent tumors (NED AGCT). Study Design: Imprints and fluids were evaluated for: hypercellularity, Call-Exner bodies (CEB), sheets, single cells/naked nuclei, nuclear grooves, single cell necrosis and established histologic criteria of atypia in AGCT (> 3 mitoses, pleomorphism, hyperchromasia, prominent nucleoli). Results: All AGCTs and JGCT showed hypercellularity, clusters, sheets, single cells and naked nuclei. CEBs and grooves were seen only in AGCTs. Fluids had less cellularity than imprints, fewer clusters, grooves, single cells/naked nuclei and no sheets, CEBs, necrosis or vacuoles. Hyperchromasia and nucleoli were more striking in JGCT than AGCTs. All REC AGCTs had cytoplasmic vacuoles, while NED AGCTs did not. Prominent nucleoli were 3 times more common in REC AGCTs than NED AGCTs. Increased mitoses and necrosis were seen in 1 REC AGCT. Conclusion: CEBs and grooves are not seen in JGCT. JGCT shows more striking cellular atypia than AGCT (REC AGCTs and NED AGCTs). When evaluating pelvic washes/ascitic fluid a high index of suspicion is necessary, as tumor cells can be overlooked. AGCTs showing cytoplasmic vacuoles, prominent nucleoli, mitoses and necrosis are suggestive of aggressive behavior, and that information should be conveyed in cytology reports.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-559
Number of pages9
JournalActa Cytologica
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


  • Granulosa cell tumor
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Ovarian neoplasms
  • Ovary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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