Exocrine tumors / carcinomas
Clear cell carcinoma

Author: Deepali Jain, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 13 December 2017, last major update August 2012

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

PubMed Search: Clear cell carcinoma[TIAB] pancreas

Cite this page: Jain, D. Clear cell carcinoma. website. Accessed November 15th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Variant of usual type ductal carcinoma (UDC) not well recognized in pancreas, with aggressive behavior
  • Not a distinct WHO diagnosis (included under miscellaneous)
  • Clear cells are common in pancreatic adenocarcinoma (24%), due also to UDC with < 75% clear cells or containing glycogen or mucin, sugar tumors, endocrine tumors, PEComa
Case reports
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Usual type ductal carcinoma with at least 75% clear cells in one study (Mod Pathol 2008;21:1075)
  • Glandular, ductal or nested structures with single layer of polygonal cells, distinct cell borders and variable nuclear atypia
  • Not due to accumulation of glycogen or mucin
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on PathOut server:

Well differentiated adenocarcinoma with glands lined by cells with clear cytoplasm and an occasionally condensed hyperchromatic nucleus (note: cause of cell clearing is not specified)

Images hosted on other servers:

66 year old woman

Positive stains
  • Hepatocyte nuclear factor 1beta
Negative stains
Differential diagnosis