Exocrine tumors / carcinomas
Vacuolated adenocarcinoma

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

Revised: 19 December 2017, last major update August 2012

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

PubMed Search: Vacuolated adenocarcinoma pancreatic

Cite this page: Jain, D. Vacuolated adenocarcinoma. website. Accessed October 24th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Infiltrating nests of tumor cells with large vacuoles and signet ring-like appearance imparting a pattern resembling adipocytes (Virchows Arch 2010;457:643)
  • Not a WHO diagnosis
Clinical features
  • Similar clinical features as ductal adenocarcinoma of usual type, except stronger association with smoking
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • High grade tumors with gland in gland arrangement
  • Tumor cells form cribriform nests with multiple large vacuoles or microcysts containing cellular debris and mucin
  • May resemble fat necrosis
  • Have necrotic material in lumen
  • Note: this pattern is rare in nonpancreatic adenocarcinomas, may be helpful in determining site of origin of metastases
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Various images

Differential diagnosis