Diffuse pagetoid squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus combined with choriocarcinoma and mucoepidermoid carcinoma: An autopsy case report


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    Presented in part at the 88th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Pathology on 6th−8th April, 1999, in Tokyo.

Akira Ishihara, MD, PhD, Division of Anatomic Pathology, Department of Clinical Laboratory, 2-1-10 Shin-Kohji, Nobeoka, Miyazaki, 882-0835, Japan. Email: aisihara@pop01.odn.ne.jp


Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in situ (SCCIS) with diffuse pagetoid features is a recently recognized rare variant of squamous cell carcinoma. A histopathological study of a specimen from a 70-year-old male Japanese patient is reported. The patient died of respiratory failure due to rapidly progressing metastatic pulmonary tumors of unknown origin 73 days after the onset of hemosputum. Autopsy disclosed widespread metastasis of choriocarcinoma in the absence of tumors of the testes or other common sites of germ cell tumors. Elevation of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG-β) levels was later detected in the stored serum. Serial histological evaluation of the entire esophagus revealed a small primary site of choriocarcinoma in a background of diffuse SCCIS, mainly of pagetoid type, accompanied by several small foci of submucosally invasive squamous cell carcinoma and primary mucoepidermoid carcinoma. These stimulated nodal metastasis independently of the choriocarcinoma. The SCCIS did not alter the gross mucosal appearance. This is the first reported case of diffuse pagetoid SCCIS combined with choriocarcinoma. Morphological findings and previous studies suggest that the extensive SCCIS of the esophagus resulted from pagetoid spread of tumor cells. The invasive squamous cell carcinoma, mucoepidermoid carcinoma and choriocarcinoma are suggested to have originated from the overlying SCCIS.