Salivary glands
Epithelial / myoepithelial tumors
Low grade salivary duct carcinoma

Topic Completed: 1 September 2012

Revised: 26 April 2019

Copyright: 2003-2019,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Low grade[TIAB] salivary duct carcinoma[TIAB]

See also: Colloid (mucin rich), Salivary duct carcinoma

Adriana Handra-Luca, M.D.
Page views in 2018: 284
Page views in 2019 to date: 327
Cite this page: Handra-Luca, A. Low grade salivary duct carcinoma. website. Accessed August 24th, 2019.
Definition / general
  • Rare tumor composed of cysts lined by small, multilayered, bland ductal cells with fine chromatin and small nucleoli
  • Also called low grade intraductal carcinoma, low grade cribriform cystadenocarcinoma, intraductal carcinoma, intraductal carcinoma with microinvasion
  • First reported in 1996 (Cancer 1996;78:958)
Clinical features
  • Usually parotid gland
  • Median age 64 years
  • Excellent prognosis; no recurrence if complete resection
  • Surgery, rarely radiotherapy
Gross description
  • Unencapsulated
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Must sample entire tumor to determine extent of invasion, rule out high grade foci
  • Single to multiple dominant cysts accompanied by adjacent intraductal proliferation
  • Cysts lined by small, multilayered, bland ductal cells with fine chromatin and small nucleoli
  • Smaller ductal structures have variable proliferating ductal epithelium with cribriform, micropapillary or solid patterns resembling ADH or low grade DCIS of breast (Am J Surg Pathol 2004;28:1040)
  • Attenuated myoepithelial cell layer, sclerotic stroma with secondary changes (inflammation, hemorrage, calcification)
  • May have indistinct cytoplasm membranes, apocrine type cytoplasmic microvacuoles, lipofuscin-like pigment
  • May be entirely intraductal, have definite stromal invasion, transition between low grade and high grade areas
  • May have adenosquamous carcinoma-like features
  • Rarely goblet cells or oncocytoid cells
  • No / rare mitotic figures or necrosis
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Arising in intraparotid lymph node

Resembling ADH of breast

Positive stains
Negative stains
Differential diagnosis
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