A Study of Cytokeratin-7 Expression and Clinicopathological Correlation in Dysplasia and Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Cervix

Document Type : Research Articles


Department of Pathology, M.S. Ramaiah Medical College, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, MSR Nagar, MSRIT Post, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.


Objectives: Cytokeratin (CK) proteins play a vital role in cancer diagnosis, of which,CK-7 is a prominent marker of squamocolumnar junction cells corresponding to the the initiating site of cervical cancer.The current study is aimed to evaluate the expression pattern of CK-7 and to corelate with the clinicopathological features in patients with cervical dysplasia and invasive squamous cell carcinoma. Methodology: The hysterectomy and biopsy specimens from women with cervical dysplasia (n=60) and carcinoma (n=60) were evaluated histopathologically and processed for immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining to assess for CK-7 expression. The relationship between CK-7 expression and tumor characteristics like histological type of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), tumor type and grade was evaluated. Data was analyzed using the Chi-square test ,wherein the  p value ≤ 0.05 were taken for statistical significance. Results: Positive CK-7 expression was observed in 25 (41.67%) dysplasia and in 34 (56.67%) carcinoma cases. Majority of the cases were CIN III (n=31, 51.67%), large cell non-keratinizing tumor type (n=54, 90%) and moderately differentiated grade of tumor (n=52, 86.67%), out of which 18 (58.1%), 34 (62.96%) and 30 (57.69%) cases were CK-7 positive, respectively. The difference in clinical diagnosis and tumor characteristics over CK-7 expression was significant (p<0.05). The pattern of CK-7 expression in dysplasia and carcinoma cases were diffuse in 23 (38.33%) and 31 (51.67%) respectively and patchy in 2 (3.33%) and 3 (5%) of them, respectively. Conclusion: Significant positive CK-7 expression in cervical dysplasia and carcinoma indicates a good clinical course and its role as a useful predictable marker for cancer progression.


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