Oral cavity
Minor salivary gland tumors / lesions
Intraductal carcinoma

Author: Nella Cristina Fernandez, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 27 April 2018, last major update December 2013

Copyright: (c) 2004-2018, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Intraductal carcinoma minor salivary glands

Cite this page: Fernandez, N.C. Intraductal carcinoma. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/oralcavityintraductalsalivary.html. Accessed November 18th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Rare salivary gland tumor with predominant intraductal growth resembling breast atypical ductal hyperplasia
  • Exceedingly rare neoplasm with ~40 cases published in English literature since 1996
  • Affects adults (age range 27 - 93; mean: 61.4), with slight female predilection (female/male ratio 1.5:1) (Head Neck Pathol 2013;7:S59)
  • Parotid gland (84.6%), intraparotid lymph nodes (5.1%), accessory parotid gland (2.6%), submandibular gland (2.6%) and minor salivary glands (5.1%) (Head Neck Pathol 2013;7:S59)
Clinical features
Case reports
  • Conservative resection of the involved gland, without neck dissection or adjuvant radiotherapy, is considered adequate therapy (Am J Surg Pathol 2004;28:1040)
Gross description
  • Well circumscribed, nonencapsulated and largely cystic lesions, containing serous to hemorrhagic fluid (Head Neck Pathol 2013;7:S59)
  • Tumor size ranges up to 4 cm
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Multiple cysts of variable size and smaller ducts
  • Multiple patterns (cribriform with roman bridges, pseudocribriform, micropapillae, fibrovascular cores, solid areas)
  • Tumor cells are small to medium sized with indistinct cell borders, pale to eosinophilic cytoplasm and round to oval nuclei
  • Small eosinophilic nucleoli can be seen
  • Occasional apocrine differentiation
  • Generally lacks nuclear pleomorphism, significant mitotic activity and necrosis
  • Perineural and angiolymphatic invasion are absent (Head Neck Pathol 2013;7:S59)
Positive stains
Negative stains
Electron microscopy description
  • Ductal cells show interdigitating cell membranes forming intercellular lumens, apical microvilli and small numbers of organelles
  • Vacuolated ductal cells show lipid vacuoles and myoepithelial cells have long cytoplasmic processes