Non-germ cell tumours arising in germ cell tumours (teratoma with malignant transformation) in men: CT and MR findings

A. Athanasiou, D. Vanel, O. El Mesbahi, C. Theodore, K. Fizazi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To describe the imaging findings of germ cell tumours (GCT) containing non-germ cell malignant components (also designated teratoma with malignant transformation or TMT). Patients and methods: The records of 14 male patients with GCT and a non-germ cell histological component TMT were retrospectively reviewed. All patients had computed tomography (CT) and/or magnetic resonance (MR) studies before and after initial surgery and chemotherapy, as well as during follow-up. Imaging findings were correlated with the response to treatment and with overall survival. Pathological evaluation, immunohistochemistry, serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) were also taken into consideration. Sarcoma was identified in 10 out of 14 patients, with rhabdomyosarcoma ranking first (n = 4), followed by osteosarcoma (n = 2), fusiform cell sarcoma (n = 1), undifferentiated sarcoma (n = 1), neurosarcoma (n = 1) and myxoid sarcoma (n = 1). Other histological types of malignant transformation included adenocarcinoma (n = 3) and bronchoalveolar carcinoma (n = 1). Overall, 9 patients relapsed at a median time of 84 months (range 60-168). Results: Non-GCT malignant transformation was identified in the retroperitoneum (5), testis (3), mediastinum (3), peritoneum (2) and lungs (1). The CT and MR imaging findings before treatment and after relapse were evaluated with emphasis on imaging features that could possibly imply the presence of malignant transformation (heterogeneously enhancing soft-tissue masses, ossified masses with calcified lymph nodes, diffuse epiploic thickening associated with ascites and peritoneal nodules, pulmonary alveolar infiltration with septal thickening). All but 1 patient with TMT presented with nodal and distant metastases. The prognosis was poor: within a median follow-up of 59 months (range 3-180), 4 out of 14 patients were alive. Conclusion: TMT is rare and associated with poorer survival compared to GCT. Imaging can be useful as CT and MR findings may suggest this entity and lead to an early biopsy and appropriate treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-235
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009


  • CT
  • MRI
  • Teratoma with malignant transformation (TMT)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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