2015, Volume 31, Number 3, Page(s) 226-229
Müllerianosis with Intestinal Metaplasia: A Case Report
Sofía del CARMEN, Marta RODRIGUEZ, M. Asunción GOMEZ, Miguel Ángel CRUZ, M. Antonia NUNEZ, Magdalena SANCHO
Complejo Asistencial de Salamanca, Anatomía Patológica, SALAMANCA, SPAIN
Keywords: Choristoma, Metaplasia, Gynecologic disease
Mullerianosis or Müllerian choristomas are developmental alterations
that consist of an organoid structure with normal Müllerian tissue. We
present a 62-year-old patient diagnosed on ultrasound scanning and
on CT scan of bilateral ovarian cysts. During surgery, a left ovarian
cyst and retroperitoneal tumor (adhered to sigmoid serous surface)
were found. On histological examination, the tumor corresponded
with a Müllerian choristoma showing endometrial, endosalpingeal
and endocervical epithelium, with foci of intestinal metaplasia, a
phenomenon not described in the literature.
Müllerianosis was first defined by Batt as an organoid
structure with the presence of rests of Müllerian tissue
(endometrial, endosalpingeal or endocervical tissue)
located in the pelvic peritoneal cavities. As Müllerian
tissue had been described in different locations, the term
Müllerianosis was redefined (by Batt) as a choristoma with
the presence of Müllerian tissue including one, two or three
normal components, in any location. This ectopic tissue is
thought to be incorporated within normal organs during
We present a case of pelvic Müllerianosis with endometriosis,
endosalpingiosis and endocervicosis with foci of
intestinal metaplasia within the endocervical epithelium, a
phenomenon not described in the literature.
We present a 62-year-old woman, with no relevant clinical
or surgical history, who consulted her family doctor and
was referred for a painful tumor in the left inguinal region
for two months. Abdominal ultrasound revealed a bilateral
cystic tumor of adnexal origin. MR scan described two
big pelvic adnexal masses that were cystic, separated,
well delimited and with no evidence of solid components
inside. Those lesions showed enhancement of the walls
after contrast administration (Figure 1
). Tumor markers
levels in serum were normal for CA125, CA15.3 and alpha
fetoprotein, showing a slight elevation of CA19.9 (35.4
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|Figure 1: MR scan image showing two pelvic adnexal masses
cystic, septated, well delimited and with no evidence of solid
The patient underwent total abdominal hysterectomy with
clinical and radiological suspicion of uterine leiomyomas
and bilateral ovarian tumors. During the operation, a cystic
tumor on the left ovary was excised, and a retroperitoneal
cystic tumor adherent to the sigmoid wall, with no relation
with the uterus or the right ovary was found. Surgeons
performed a hysterectomy with bilateral oophorectomy and
resection of the pelvic mass.
Macroscopically, there was a cystic tumor of 10x7x5 cm
on the left ovary. The external surface was smooth and
whitish, with marked vascularity. The internal surface was
granular but with no nodular nor papillary formations. The
fallopian tube did not show any macroscopic alteration. On
histological examination, the cystic lesion was a mucinous
cystadenoma and on the fallopian tube there were foci of
mucosal tubal endometriosis.
The right ovary was macroscopically normal and sized 2x1
cm, and in the image it was received attached to the uterus.
The uterine wall showed several subserosal and intramural
formations. The biggest one was 3 cm in diameter. These
tumors were well delineated, round, and on cut surface
they were firm, gray-white and whorled. On histological
sections these lesions were confirmed as leiomyomas. Foci
of adenomyosis were also found on the uterus.
The pelvic tumor was 13x8x3cm in size. It had elastic
consistency and the surface was white and smooth. On
cut surface its appearance was heterogeneous, alternating
cystic cavities of different diameters with aqueous content and solid fibrous areas. The internal surface of the cysts was
rough showing zones with papillary formations (Figure
2A). The microscopic examination (Figure 2B) revealed
endosalpingeal (Figure 2C), endometrial and endocervical
epithelium covering the walls of the cystic cavities. The
epithelial cells lining the cysts showed no atypia and no signs
of infiltration was observed. The walls of cavities showed
muscular hyperplasia. Foci of goblet cells with no cytological
atypia were found within the areas of endocervical mucosa
(Figure 2D). On immunohistochemical study the distinct
müllerian epithelium were positive for CK7 (Figure 2E),
estrogen receptors and progesterone receptors, and they
were negative for CK20 and CEA. Goblet cells were positive
for CK20 (Figure 2F) and CDX2 (Figure 2G), which
confirmed these cells as intestinal metaplastic epithelium.
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|Figure 2: Pelvic tumor: A) Macro image showing a heterogeneous cut surface, alternating cystic cavities with papillary and rough walls
and solid fibrous areas. B) Micro image (panoramic). C) Endosalpingeal epithelium (HxE; x400). D) Goblet cells, with no cytological
atypia, within the areas of endocervical mucosa (HxE; x400). E) Goblet cells positive for CDX2 (CDX2; x40). F) Goblet cells positive for
CK20 (CK20; x40). G) Müllerian epithelium positive for CK7 (CK7; x40).
With all findings described, our final diagnosis was
Müllerian choristoma (or pelvic Müllerianosis) with
endosalpingiosis, endometriosis and endocervicosis with
foci of intestinal metaplasia. The patient did not show any
important complication after surgery, and at the present
time, after 4 months of follow-up she is free of disease.
Choristomas were defined in 1904 by Eugen Albrecht as
tumors composed of histologically normal tissues misplaced
within organs during organogenesis2
. Those composed
of endometrial, endosalpingeal and endocervical tissues are
Over the years, the term «Müllerianosis» has been reviewed
several times. First, in 1989, Batt defined Müllerianosis
as an organoid structure with the presence of remnants of Müllerian tissue located on pelvic peritoneal cavities
(rectovaginal space, posterior broad ligament and pararectal
space), accepting for its diagnosis the presence of, at least,
one segment of Müllerian-derived epithelium (endometrial,
endosalpingeal and/or endocervical tissue)3.
As Müllerian tissue had been described in different locations
such as the urinary bladder4, the liver, appendix5, skin6, paravertebral7, etc., in 1996, Young and Clement
proposed stricter histological criteria, and postulated
that Müllerianosis were lesions in any site containing
endometriosis, endosalpingiosis and endocervicosis. They
proposed that for an accurate diagnosis of Müllerianosis,
two or three tissue types should be found8. Later in 2007,
Batt redefined the term “Müllerianosis” as a choristoma
with the presence of Müllerian tissue including one, two or
three normal components, in any location1.
There are 4 Müllerian disorders named as endometriosis,
endosalpingiosis, adenomyosis and endocervicosis,
and they can be acquired or developmental9. It is
important to distinguish between developmental and
acquired Müllerianosis, due to the fact that both entities
are characterized on histological examination by the
presence of misplaced normal Müllerian tissue, but their
pathogenesis and location in organs is different.
Acquired endometriosis is viewed as endometrial tissue
that invades the outer surface of organs. Several theories try
to explain the mechanism of endometriosis such as surgery,
retrograde menstruations, hematogenous metastasis or
coelomic metaplasia, which are some examples10. In
acquired endosalpingiosis there is endosalpingeal tissue
invading the surface of organs. Endometrial glands and
stroma invade the myometrium in acquired adenomyosis.
Acquired endocervicosis is a rare lesion described after
hysterectomy, due to transplantation of endocervical tissue9.
Developmental Müllerianosis consists of Müllerian tissue
misplaced within organs, in any location. It is a structure
of embryonic origin, and it is sometimes associated with
other malformations or congenital abnormalities. The fact
that it has been found in female fetuses, infants, children,
adolescents and adults supports the theory that it is a
congenital developmental disease11. The etiology of this
lesion still remains unknown.
According to Batt's criteria1, developmental Müllerianosis
can be diagnosed with certainty when there is no evidence
of pelvic endometriosis, there are no direct communications
with the endocervix, endometrium or endosalpinx, and
there is no history of surgery on the reproductive organs. The diagnosis of a Müllerian choristoma requires both
clinical and histological criteria.
In our case, the patient had no history of abdominal
surgery, no evidence of pelvic endometriosis and the lesion
attached to sigmoid wall (on its serosal surface), without
relation to the uterus or ovary. Taking this into account,
the pelvic lesion we have described meets Batt's criteria for
considering it a developmental Müllerianosis. In our review
of the literature we have not found any similar finding. In
our case we found foci of intestinal metaplasia within areas
of endocervical epithelium that expressed CK20 and CDX2.
We do not consider this intestinal epithelium as intestinal
contamination since the lesion was related to the serosal
surface, with no connection with the intestinal mucosa.
In our case there were no signs of malignancy in the
foci of intestinal metaplasia. We consider this finding a
consequence of mechanical traction suffered by the tumor,
since we could consider it a congenital lesion as the patient
did not have previous surgery, and for its location in the
Clinically, Müllerian choristomas may be asymptomatic
or they can be associated with pelvic pain, infertility, or
weakness due to bleeding if they contain endometrium1.
There are some described cases of Müllerianosis that became
malignant, but this is not the rule12. Surgical excision
is considered curative, with no need of chemotherapy or
radiotherapy, and no recurrence is expected. Our case is
free of disease after 4 months of follow-up.
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