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Microscopic mimics of prostatic carcinoma

Cowper's glands

Reviewers: Komal Arora, M.D., (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 22 May 2014, last major update May 2012
Copyright: (c) 2003-2014, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.


● Also called bulbourethral glands
● Well demarcated lobules of small, compact tubuloalveolar glands resembling minor salivary glands, radiating from a central excretory duct lined by pseudostratified epithelium, and entrapped within fascicles of muscle
● Have a thin connective tissue capsule
● Composed of simple columnar epithelium
● These mucin producing glands are in urogenital diaphragm, resemble mucinous salivary glands in muscle fascicles (Am J Surg Pathol 2001;21:550)
● Seen occasionally in TURP specimens, rarely in needle biopsies

Gross images

Cowper's gland (CG) in gross anatomy dissection

Micro images

Various images

Positive stains

● Mucin, smooth muscle actin at periphery of acini (Am J Surg Pathol 1997;21:1069)

Negative stains

● PSA (variable), PAP, S100, CEA, CK903 (usually)

Electron microscopy

● Acini lined by secretory cell layer, with myoepithelial cells at periphery of acini

End of Prostate > Microscopic mimics of prostatic carcinoma > Cowper's glands

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