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The Korean Journal of Pathology 1992;26(5): 427-435.
Cytologic Heterogeneity of Signet Ring Cell Carcinoma of the Stomach: Histochemical and electron microscopic observations.
Yun Kyung Kang, Yong Il Kim
Department of Pathology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
The cytologic heterogeneity of the tumor cells in gastric signet ring cell carcinoma was studied with 13 surgically early gastric carcinoma specimens by means of histochemical stainings on mucin(periodic acid Schiff-alcian blue at pH 2.5, paradoxical concanavalin A, high iron diamine) and electron microscopy. Of the 13 cases of early gastric cell carcinomas, 6 were mucosal type and 7 were submucosal type. Eleven cases consisted of mixture of gastric and intestinal type signet ring cells and the remaining 2 of the mucosal type were entirely made of gastric type. The colonic goblet cell type was found in 4 of the submucosal type. Within the mucosa the tumor cells showed a layering phenomenon; type A signet ring cells were distributed at the central zone and type B and C at the superficial or deeper zone. Each type of signet ring cell showed variable mucin histochemical stainability of gastric and/or intestinal nature. Above finding strongly suggest that the variable phenotypes of signet ring cells result from a heterogeneity of cytoplasmic mucin as well as different stages of differentiation of signet ring carcinoma cells.
Key Words: Stomach; Signet ring cell carcinoma; Mucin histochemistry; Electron microscopy