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Paediatric Pathology Online

Pathology of Yolk Sac Tumour

Schiller-Duval bodies are diagnostic of yolk sac tumor

 Dr Sampurna Roy MD                 




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Testicular and paratesticular and ovarian tumours are rare in childhood, representing 1-2 percent of the solid tumours in the pediatric age.

The evolution differs from that of the adult.

Yolk sac tumour most commonly affects the testis and ovaries.


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For the first two years after birth it constitutes the most common form of testicular neoplasm. 

Extragonadal locations include the vagina, sacrococcygeal area, pelvis, retroperitoneum, anterior mediastinum and pineal area. Rare cases have been reported in the kidney, heart and rectum.

Microscopically, yolk sac tumor expresses variable cellular patterns, including "reticular", "polyvesicular vitelline", "pseudopapillary" and "solid pattern".

Co-existence of these patterns in the same tumour in varying combination is commonly seen.

Schiller-Duval bodies are diagnostic of yolk sac tumor but are only found in some 50% to 75% of neoplasms. They are found more commonly in association with pseudopapillary pattern.

Patients with yolk sac tumors invariably have a raised serum alpha-fetoprotein level.

The single most important factor in prognosis is completeness of surgical excision and is probably the basis of the excellent outlook for tumours of the testes, contrasting with yolk sac tumours occurring at other sites.

There is no correlation between prognosis and histological pattern.

Further reading:

Primary diaphragmatic yolk sac tumor and review of the literature.

Two cases of primary yolk sac tumor of the liver in childhood: case reports and literature review.

Pediatric Germ Cell Tumors; A 10-year Experience.

Yolk sac tumor of vagina: a case report.

Intrarenal pure yolk sac tumor: an extremely rare entity.

Transcription factor GATA-4 is expressed in pediatric yolk sac tumors.

Testicular yolk sac tumors in children.

Immature teratomas in children: pathologic considerations: a report from the combined Pediatric Oncology Group/Children's Cancer Group.

Clinical experience with conservative surgery for vaginal endodermal sinus tumor.




Dr Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)







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