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Wednesday 28 April 2004

choriocarcinoma; choriocarcinomas

Definition: Highly malignant tumor of germ cell origin, composed of neoplastic cytotrophoblastic and syncytiotrophoblastic cells. These cells, like their placental equivalents are highly invasive causing hemorrhage and necrosis of tissues into which they have spread.


- Primarty uterine choriocarcinoma

- Metastatic choriocarcinoma in an infant. hCG over 300,000.

Digital slides

- JRC:14085 : Lung metastasis of a choriocarcinoma.
- JRC:14069 : Lung metastasis of a choriocarcinoma from mediastinum.

Choriocarcinoma is among the rarest of the gonadal germ cell tumors, with pure examples in either gonad representing well under 1% of the total number of germ cell tumors.

Because of its production of hCG, it may be associated with a number of hormonal manifestations.

Those in the testis are especially prone to present with metastases rather than a mass.

The typical pattern is a plexiform arrangement of syncytiotrophoblast cells with mononucleated, mostly cytotrophoblast cells around foci of hemorrhage, although some examples may have a relatively inconspicuous syncytiotrophoblast component.

Ovarian cases should be distinguished from metastatic gestational choriocarcinoma; a concomitant or proximate gestation almost always indicates the latter, whereas another germ cell tumor component indicates the primary nature of the ovarian tumor.

Types and localization

- gestational choriocarcinoma
- uterine choriocarcinoma
- gonadal choriocarcinoma


- HCG +
- GATA3 +
- GPC3 + / glypican-3 +
- PLAP +/-
- CEA +/-
- EMA +/-

See also

- germ cell tumors