Lung tumor
Acinar cell carcinoma

Topic Completed: 1 September 2012

Revised: 31 January 2019, last major update September 2012

Copyright: (c) 2003-2016,, Inc.

PubMed Search: acinar cell carcinoma lung

Deepali Jain, M.D.
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Cite this page: Jain D. Acinar cell carcinoma. website. Accessed December 14th, 2019.
Definition / general
  • Malignant glandular epithelial neoplasm consisting of secretory cells forming acinar patterns (WHO)
  • Bronchial gland tumor resembling salivary gland tumor, well circumscribed, 1-5 cm, with predominantly low grade malignant acinar cells (note difference from WHO definition)
  • Very rare at this site, usually in parotid gland, less commonly in submandibular and sublingual glands
  • Also known as Fechner tumor
  • May arise from pluripotent cells of tracheobronchial submucosal serous and mucus glands
Case reports
  • Surgical excision
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Low grade tumor with acinar, oncocytic, papillocystic patterns (Am J Surg Pathol 1992;16:1039)
  • Predominantly acinar cells, also ductal cells, myoepithelial cells, reserve / stem cells
  • Solid areas recapitulate salivary gland acinar differentiation with large polyhedral cells containing abundant granular cytoplasm, round bland nuclei
  • Microcystic areas recapitulate terminal duct-acinar unit
  • In contrast to salivary gland tumor, no / rare perineural invasion
  • No nuclear pleomorphism, no mitotic activity
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Acinic cell carcinoma: primary and recurrent tumor

Salivary gland acinic cell carcinoma: various images

Positive stains
  • Cytokeratin, EMA
Negative stains
  • Amylase
Electron microscopy description
  • No melanosomes, no abundant cytoplasmic glycogen, no neurosecretory granules, no abundant mitochondria or fat globules
Differential diagnosis
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