Exocrine tumors / carcinomas
Clear cell carcinoma

Topic Completed: 1 August 2012

Revised: 7 November 2019

Revised: 28 January 2019

Copyright: (c) 2002-2019,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Clear cell carcinoma[TIAB] pancreas

Deepali Jain, M.D.
Page views in 2018: 1,010
Page views in 2019 to date: 1,028
Cite this page: Jain D. Clear cell carcinoma. website. Accessed December 10th, 2019.
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


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
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