Pathology of the Pleura and Mediastinum

2018 Edition
| Editors: Timothy Craig Allen, Saul Suster

Germ Cell Tumors of Mediastinum

  • Ivan DamjanovEmail author
  • Nenad Kunac
Reference work entry


Mediastinal germinomas; Mediastinal gonocytomas


Germ cell tumors (GCTs) of the mediastinum are a heterogeneous group of tumors histopathologically corresponding to various ovarian and testicular germ cell tumors. The cell of origin of mediastinal GCT has not been identified although it has been proposed that they originate from misplaced primordial germ cells which have not reached the gonadal anlage during early embryogenesis.

Clinical Features

  • Incidence

    Germ cell tumors of the mediastinum are rare, accounting for less than 5% of all human GCTs. Nevertheless, mediastinum represents the most common site for extragonadal GCT. Accordingly, mediastinal GCTs comprise approximately two thirds of all extragonadal GCTs. An increased incidence of mediastinal GCT has been recorded in patients with Klinefelter syndrome

  • Age

    GCTs occur in all age groups, with a peak incidence in the 15–35 years age group (Stang et al. 2012). Seminomas occur only after the onset of puberty and...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Further Reading

  1. Albany, C., & Einhorn, L. H. (2013). Extragonadal germ cell tumors: Clinical presentation and management. Current Opinion in Oncology, 25, 261–265.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. McKenney, J. K., Heerema-McKenney, A., & Rouse, R. V. (2002). Extragonadal germ cell tumors: A review with emphasis on pathologic features, clinical prognostic variables, and differential diagnostic considerations. Advances in Anatomic Pathology, 14, 69–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Moran, C. A., & Suster, S. (1997). Primary germ cell tumors of the mediastinum. I. Analysis of 322 cases with special emphasis on teratomatous lesions and a proposal for histopathologic classification and clinical staging. Cancer, 80, 681–690.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Stang, A., Trabert, B., Wentzensen, N., et al. (2012). Gonadal and extragonadal germ cell tumors in the United States, 1973–2007. International Journal of Andrology, 35, 616–625.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. Weidner, N. (1999). Germ-cell tumors of the mediastinum. Seminars Diagnostic Pathology, 16, 42–50.Google Scholar
  6. Wick, M. R., Perlman, E. J., Gobel, U., et al. (2004). Teratoma. In W. D. Travis, E. Brambilla, H. K. Muller-Hermelink, & C. C. Harris (Eds.), Tumours of the lung, pleura, thymus and heart. Lyon: IARC Press.Google Scholar
  7. Williamson, S. R., & Ulbright, T. M. (2014). Germ cell tumors of the mediastinum. In A. M. Marchevsky & M. R. Wick (Eds.), Pathology of the mediastinum (pp. 146–168). New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity of Kansas School of MedicineKansas CityUSA
  2. 2.Institute of PathologyUniversity of Split School of MedicineSplitCroatia