Breast malignant, males, children
In situ carcinoma
Signet ring cell DCIS

Topic Completed: 1 January 2012

Minor changes: 25 June 2020

Revised: 21 January 2019

Copyright: (c) 2002-2019,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Signet ring cell DCIS

Dina Kandil, M.D.
Page views in 2020 to date: 6
Cite this page: Kandil D OLD Signet ring cell. website. Accessed August 7th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Not a distinct subtype of DCIS (Am J Clin Pathol 1980;73:31, Cancer 1985;55:2533)
  • Signet ring cells are usually associated with LCIS, but can be seen in DCIS as well; signet ring cells are very rare in benign ductal proliferation
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Cells have eccentric nuclei that are indented at the nuclear border by a cytoplasmic vacuole with a central minute secretion droplet
Positive stains
Differential diagnosis
  • Clear cells of normal nipple-areola complex: varied morphology but no atypia; usually morphology consistent with pagetoid dyskeratosis, HMW CK+ (Histol Histopathol 2009;24:367)
  • Histiocytes: may appear in lymph nodes too; mucin negative, CD68+ (Am J Clin Pathol 1989;92:509)
  • Non-specific cytoplasmic halos: usually a fixation artifact, mucin negative
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