A case report of Sertoli cell tumor in a patient with testicular feminization: many dilemmas for the pathologist.

Institue of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Udine, Italy.
Advances in clinical pathology: the official journal of Adriatic Society of Pathology 04/2002; 6(2):105-10.
Source: PubMed


The aim of this case report is to present the pathological, clinical, and ethic problems due to the diagnosis of an adnexal mass in a female patient with an undetected androgen insensitivity syndrome.
We employed both commonly used pathologic techniques, such as hematoxylin-eosin staining and immunohystochemistry, both fluorescence in situ hybridization on paraffin-embedded tissue sections using probes for chromosomes X and Y.
At pathologic evaluation, a diagnosis of Sertoli cell tumor was made. Fluorescence in situ hybridization showed an XY karyotype of tumor cells. The final diagnosis was bilateral Sertoli cell adenoma in a patient with testicular feminization syndrome.
Androgen insensitivity syndrome is caused by insensitivity of end organs to androgen caused by a non-functioning receptor. The diagnosis of testicular feminization has been made as late as the ninth decade. In this case, two kinds of problem derived from the pathologist point of view: first, the demonstration of chromosomal sex to confirm the diagnosis, and second, the transfer of diagnosis to the patient and to the clinicians.

2 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (AIS) is an X-linked disorder of sex development. Surgical management entails timely gonadectomy given the risk of malignant transformation. Our patient presented at age 15 years with primary amenorrhea. Initial laboratory testing showed elevated testosterone, luteinizing hormone, anti-Müllerian hormone levels, and 46,XY karyotype. Imaging studies showed no uterus, ovaries, and identified two candidate gonads. She underwent bilateral gonadectomy. Pathology reports revealed Sertoli cell and intratubular germ cell tumors located in separate gonads. Our case is the first report of the youngest patient with AIS with bilateral gonadal tumors derived from different histological origins. We also review literature for reports of AIS patients with gonadal tumors. Currently, there is no consensus for the timing of gonadectomy in AIS patients. However, given the varying potential for malignant transformation of gonads in AIS patients with different phenotypes, development of a standardized treatment guideline is indicated.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Journal of pediatric endocrinology & metabolism: JPEM