Colon tumor
Low grade tubuloglandular adenocarcinoma

Topic Completed: 1 February 2016

Revised: 14 January 2019, last major update February 2016

Copyright: (c) 2002-2017,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Tubuloglandular adenocarcinoma [title]
Page views in 2018: 489
Page views in 2019 to date: 216
Cite this page: Gonzalez R. Low grade tubuloglandular adenocarcinoma. website. Accessed April 26th, 2019.
Definition / general
Essential features
  • Arises in patients with ulcerative colitis or Crohn disease
  • Low grade histology may be difficult to distinguish from benign glands
  • Can arise directly from low grade dysplasia
  • ~10% of inflammatory bowel disease associated colon carcinomas are low grade tubuloglandular subtype
Clinical features
Prognostic factors
  • Patients generally do well unless a synchronous conventional colorectal carcinoma is also present
Gross description
  • May not be identifiable grossly; may be only identified on random sections
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Small or medium sized glands with round or tubular shape
  • Malignant glands are extremely well differentiated and might only be identifiable as malignant based on location deep within the bowel wall
  • Desmoplasia is rare or absent
  • Overlying mucosa may show only low grade dysplasia
  • Areas of conventional adenocarcinoma may be visible
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on PathOut server courtesy of Raul Gonzalez, M.D.:

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Low grade tubuloglandular adenocarcinoma in ulcerative colitis patient

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Background colitis

Positive stains
Negative stains
Molecular / cytogenetics description
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