Salivary glands
Primary salivary gland neoplasms - malignant
Signet ring cell adenocarcinoma

Topic Completed: 1 September 2012

Revised: 30 April 2019

Copyright: 2003-2019,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Signet ring cell adenocarcinoma salivary

Adriana Handra-Luca, M.D.
Page views in 2018: 380
Page views in 2019 to date: 398
Cite this page: Handra-Luca A. Signet ring cell adenocarcinoma. website. Accessed December 7th, 2019.
Definition / general
  • Rare adenocarcinoma subtype first described by Ghannoum and Freedman (Am J Surg Pathol 2004;28:29)
  • Represents 2% of primary minor salivary gland malignancies; less common in major salivary glands
  • Adults, mean age 56 years, female predilection
  • Slow growing with favorable outcome; low grade behavior with no recurrence / metastases, based on limited data
Case reports
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Noncircumscribed tumor composed of bland, extracellular mucin containing signet ring cells (scattered cells or nests) that invade in narrow parallel strands, with scattered small nests or individually infiltrating cells, eccentric indented nuclei, mild atypia; mixed with eosinophilic and clear cells
  • Often perineurial invasion but no angiolymphatic invasion
  • Minimal ductal differentiation
  • No necrosis, no / rare mitoses
  • No solid, cribriform or papillary components
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Encapsulated and centrally cystic

Cells have large
vacuole with Alcian
blue positive mucin

CK14+ basal cells of residual
ducts, which contain some
signet ring cells similar to
the tumor cells

Negative stains
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