Penis and scrotum
Squamous cell carcinoma and variants
Pseudoglandular carcinoma

Authors: Antonio Cubilla, M.D., Alcides Chaux, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 5 April 2018, last major update April 2010

Copyright: (c) 2002-2018,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Pseudoglandular carcinoma penis

Cite this page: Cubilla, A., Chaux, A. Pseudoglandular carcinoma. website. Accessed November 14th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Unusual and aggressive variant of penile carcinoma with pseudoglands, often filled with amorphous material
  • Also called adenoid or acantholytic carcinoma
  • Average 54 years
  • Glans, coronal sulcus and inner foreskin are usually involved
Clinical features
  • Higher metastatic rate and cancer related deaths when compared with usual SCC
Case reports
Gross description
  • Large, irregular white-gray ulcerative or exophytic masses
  • Frequent invasion of deep erectile tissues
  • Average size 4.6 cm
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Hallmark is the pseudogland: open space lined by atypical, cubical or cylindrical uni or multistratified cells
  • Pseudoglands frequently filled with amorphous material containing debris, keratin and desquamated cells
  • Intraluminal neutrophilic microabscesses are not uncommon
  • Frequent presence of intracytoplasmic clear vacuoles, sometimes with a collaret arrangement
  • Variegated tumor aspect showing solid areas intermingled with pseudoglandular spaces
  • Frequent vascular and perineural invasion
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on PathOut server:

Contributed by Alcides Chaux, M.D.
and Antonio Cubilla, M.D.

Simulating glandular lumina

Irregular tumor nests


Pseudoglandular carcinoma

Images hosted on other servers:


Acantholysis of neoplastic squamous cells

Head and neck:

Pseudolumina are present but no true glands


Various images

Negative stains
Differential diagnosis