Colon tumor
Signet ring cell carcinoma

Author: Raul Gonzalez M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 14 August 2018, last major update August 2015

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

PubMed Search: "Signet ring cell carcinoma" colon
Cite this page: Gonzalez, R. Signet ring cell carcinoma. website. Accessed October 22nd, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Sometimes called "linitis plastica," but this typically refers to signet ring cell carcinoma of stomach
  • Can occur anywhere in colon, though rectum is a less common location
Clinical features
Prognostic factors
Case reports
Clinical images

Images hosted on other servers:

Pedunculated polyp

Stenotic rectal carcinoma

Polyp in proximal sigmoid colon

Discolored lesion

Gross description
  • May diffusely infiltrate colon wall, rather than forming an exophytic mass
  • Can rarely arise within a polyp
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Proliferation of signet ring cells with intracellular mucin that displaces nucleus to side
  • Pools of extracellular mucin often present as well
  • Diffuse tissue infiltration less common than in gastric signet ring cell carcinoma
  • May rarely be in situ or confined to a polyp (J Surg Res 2010;163:250)
  • No gland formation in signet ring cell component, although it may be present elsewhere in the same lesion
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Numerous mucinous pools

Signet ring cells floating

Signet ring cell carcinoma


For comparison,
normal colonic glands
with signet ring cells, CK7

Negative stains
Molecular / cytogenetics description
Differential diagnosis