Mineralogy and Petrology

, Volume 109, Issue 3, pp 357–365 | Cite as

Psammoma bodies in two types of human ovarian tumours: a mineralogical study

  • Meng Fanlu
  • Wang Changqiu
  • Li YanEmail author
  • Lu AnhuaiEmail author
  • Mei Fang
  • Liu Jianying
  • Du Jingyun
  • Zhang Yan
Original Paper


Psammoma body (PB) is a common form of calcification in pathological diagnosis and closely relevant to tumours. This paper focuses on the mineralogical characteristics of PBs in ovarian serous cancer and teratoma by using polarization microscope (POM), environmental scanning electron microscope (ESEM), micro-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (micro-FT-IR), transmission electron microscope (TEM), micro-area synchrotron radiation X-ray powder diffraction (μ-SRXRD) and fluorescence (μ-SRXRF). Both the PBs in tissues and separated from eight typical cases were investigated. POM and ESEM observation revealed the inside-out growth pattern of PBs. μ-SRXRD and micro-FT-IR results demonstrated the dominant mineral phase of PBs in ovarian serous cancer and teratoma was AB-type carbonate hydroxyapatite (Ca10[(PO4)6-x-y(CO3)x(HPO4 2−)y][(OH)2−u(CO3)u] with 0 ≤ x,y,u ≤ 2). As observed by ESEM and TEM, the layer-rich PBs in teratoma were up to 70 μm and mainly consisted of 5 nm-wide, 5–12 nm-long columnar crystals; the PBs in ovarian serous cancer with a maximum diameter of 35 μm were composed of slightly longer columnar crystals and granulates with 20–100 nm in diameter. The selected area electron diffraction patterns showed dispersed polycrystalline diffraction rings with arching behavior of (002) diffraction, indicating the aggregated nanocrystals grew in the preferred orientation of (002) face. The EDX and μ-SRXRF results together indicated the existence of Na, Mg, Zn and Sr in PBs. These detailed mineralogical characteristics may help uncover the nature of the pathological PBs in ovary.


Hydroxyapatite Collagen Fiber Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma Teratoma Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41272048,40872196). We thank staff at BL15U, SSRF for providing beam time and offering help during the tests.


  1. Alberts IL, Nadassy K, Wodak SJ (1998) Analysis of zinc binding sites in protein crystal structures [J]. Protein Sci 7(8):1700–1716CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Buy JN, Ghossain MA, Moss AA, Bazot M, Doucet M, Hugol D, Truc JB, Poitout P, Ecoiffier J (1989) Cystic teratoma of the ovary: CT detection [J]. Radiology 171(3):697–701CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Credá-Nicolás M (1992) Meningiomas: morphologic and ultrastructural characteristics of psammoma bodies [J]. Arch Neurobiol (Madr) 55(6):256–261Google Scholar
  4. Das DK (2009) Psammoma body: a product of dystrophic calcification or of a biologically active process that aims at limiting the growth and spread of tumor? [J]. Diagn Cytopathol 37(7):534–541CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Fadare O, Chacho MS, Parkash V (2004) Psammoma bodies in cervicovaginal smears: significance and practical implications for diagnostic cytopathology [J]. Adv Anat Pathol 11(5):250–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ferenczy A, Talens M, Zoghby M, Hussain SS (1977) Ultrastructural studies on the morphogenesis of psammoma bodies in ovarian serous neoplasia [J]. Cancer 39(6):2451–2459CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ho E (2004) Zinc deficiency, DNA damage and cancer risk [J]. J Nutr Biochem 15(10):572–578CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hudelist G, Singer CF, Kubista E, Manavi M, Mueller R, Pischinger K, Czerwenka K (2004) Presence of nanobacteria in psammoma bodies of ovarian cancer: evidence for pathogenetic role in intratumoral biomineralization [J]. Histopathology 45(6):633–637CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Jiang SD, Yao QZ, Zhou GT, Fu SQ (2012) Fabrication of hydroxyapatite hierarchical hollow microspheres and potential application in water treatment [J]. J Phys Chem 116:4484–4492CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kawasaki T, Takahashi S, Ikeda K (1985) Hydroxyapatite high-performance liquid chromatography: column performance for proteins [J]. Eur J Biochem 152:361–371CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Kiyozuka Y, Nakagawa H, Senzaki H, Uemura Y, Adachi S, Teramoto Y, Matsuyama T, Bessho K, Tsubura A (2001) Bone morphogenetic protein-2 and type IV collagen expression in psammoma body forming ovarian cancer [J]. Anticancer Res 21(3B):1723–1730Google Scholar
  12. Kubota T, Hirano A, Yamamoto S, Kajikawa K (1984) The fine structure of psammoma bodies in meningocytic whorls[J]. J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 43(1):37–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. LeGeros RZ (2001) Formation and transformation of calcium phosphates: relevance to vascular calcification [J]. Z Kardiol 90(3):116–124Google Scholar
  14. Mangialardo S, Cottignoli V, Cavarretta E et al (2012) Pathological biominerals: Raman and infrared studies of bioapatite deposits in human heart valves [J]. Appl Spectrosc 66(10):1122–1127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Motohara T, Tashiro H, Miyahara Y, Sakaguchi I, Ohtake H, Katabuchi H (2010) Long-term oncological outcomes of ovarian serous carcinomas with psammoma bodies: a novel insight into the molecular pathogenesis of ovarian epithelial carcinoma [J]. Cancer Sci 101(6):1550–1556CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Rey C, Combes C, Drouet C (2007) Physico-chemical properties of nanocrystalline apatites: Implications for biominerals and biomaterials [J]. Mater Sci Eng C 27:198–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Rhee SH, Lee JD, Tanaka J (2000) Nucleation of hydroxyapatite crystal through chemical interaction with collagen [J]. J Am Ceram Soc 83(11):2890–2892CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Rhee SH, Suetsugu Y, Tanaka J (2001) Biomimetic configurational arrays of hydroxyapatite nanocrystals on bio-organics [J]. Biomaterials 22(21):2843–2847CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Sedivy R, Battistutti WB (2003) Nanobacteria promote crystallization of psammoma bodies in ovarian cancer [J]. APMIS 111(10):951–954CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Silva EG, Deavers MT, Parlow AF, Gershenson DM, Malpica A (2003) Calcifications in ovary and endometrium and their neoplasms [J]. Mod Pathol 16(3):219–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Sorbe B, Frankendal BO (1982) Prognostic importance of psammoma bodies in adenocarcinomas of the ovaries [J]. Gynecol Oncol 14(1):6–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Tsuchida T, Matsumoto M, Shirayama Y, Kasai H, Kawamoto K (1996) Observation of psammoma bodies in cultural meningiomas: analysis of three-dimensional structure using scanning and transmission electron microscopy [J]. Ultrastruct Pathol 20(3):241–247CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Wang CQ, Yang RC, Lu AH, Liu JY, Zhang B (2009) Mineralogy of psammoma bodies in human ovarian cancer [J]. Acta Petrol Mineral 28(6):617–622 (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  24. Yamashima T, Kida S, Kubota T, Yamamoto S (1986) The origin of psammoma bodies in human archnoid villi [J]. Acta Neuropathol 71(1–2):19–25CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Yang RC, Wang CQ, Lu AH, Liu JY, Zhang B (2008) A study of the psammoma body mineralization in meningioma [J]. Earth Sci Front 15(6):44-53 (in Chinese with English abstract)Google Scholar
  26. Zhang W, Huang ZL, Liao SS, Cui FZ (2003) Nucleation sites of calcium phosphate crystals during collagen mineralization [J]. J Am Ceram Soc 86(6):1052–1054CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Key Laboratory of Orogenic Belts and Crustal Evolution, School of Earth and Space SciencesPeking UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Pathology Department, School of Basic Medical ScienceHealth Science Center of Peking UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Pathology DepartmentChaihu Health Center of ZhongxiangHubeiPeople’s Republic of China

Personalised recommendations