Breast malignant, males, children
Carcinoma subtypes
Lobular carcinoma - signet ring cell variant

Author: Monika Roychowdhury, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 28 September 2018, last major update August 2012

Copyright: (c) 2002-2018, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Signet ring cell variant of lobular carcinoma

Cite this page: Roychowdhury, M. Lobular carcinoma - signet ring cell variant. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/breastmalignantlobularsignet.html. Accessed November 21st, 2018.
Definition / general
  • "Significant" number of cells with signet rings (20% in one study)
  • First described in 1976 (Cancer 1976;37:828)
  • Signet ring: a ring that can create a wax impression or seal to close an envelope or sign a document, in a secure, not easily copied way (image)
Clinical features
  • Rare
  • Signet ring cell appearance may be due to blockage in secretion because of deletion of necessary enzyme or to disruption of E-cadherin / beta-catenin complex (J Pathol 2007;212:278)
  • Associated with poor prognosis, metastases to GI tract and female genital tract (metastases may not have signet ring cell features)
Case reports
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • "Significant" number of cells with signet rings (20% in one study)
  • Cells not as bizarre as pleomorphic lobular carcinoma
  • Some lobular features
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on PathOut server:

Courtesy of Mark R. Wick, M.D.

AFIP



Images hosted on Flickr:

Mixed classic and signet ring cell morphology



Courtesy of Dr. Semir Vranic

E-cadherin, courtesy of Dr. Semir Vranic



Images hosted on other servers:

Vacuolated cytoplasm with crescentic nuclei

Associated with papilloma

Vacuolated cytoplasm with crescentic nuclei

CK8

Positive stains
Negative stains
Electron microscopy description
  • Large membrane bound vacuoles
Differential diagnosis