Skin nonmelanocytic tumor
Carcinoma (nonadnexal)
Acantholytic squamous cell carcinoma


Topic Completed: 1 November 2014

Minor changes: 13 December 2019

Copyright: 2002-2019, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Acantholytic squamous cell carcinoma [title] skin

Ghassan A. Tranesh, M.D.
Hong Qu, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 4,549
Page views in 2020 to date: 1,982
Cite this page: Tranesh GA, Qu H. Acantholytic squamous cell carcinoma. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/skintumornonmelanocyticadenoidscc.html. Accessed June 7th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Adenoid squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is an uncommon histopathological variant of SCC characterised by acantholysis of tumor cells, creating pseudolumina and the appearance of glandular differentiation (J Clin Pathol 2006;59:1206)
  • Also called pseudoglandular, pseudoangiosarcomatous, or acantholytic squamous cell carcinoma
  • Does NOT appear to be more aggressive than SCC (Dermatol Surg 2011;37:353)
  • Due to a desmosomal defect that causes lack of cell adhesion (acantholysis)
Sites
  • Usually sun-exposed skin, often associated with actinic keratosis with acantholysis
Case reports
Gross description
Gross images

Images hosted on other servers:

Excised exophytic polypoid growth

Resected tumor and mandible

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Invasive, tubular or pseudoglandular pattern of polygonal cells in dermis, with glassy eosinophilic cytoplasm and focal squamous pearl formation
  • Usually connected to overlying epidermis (J Cutan Pathol 1989;16:114)
  • Oral tumors may show pseudovascular morphology (J Clin Pathol 2006;59:1206)
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Tubular structures

Pseudoglandular pattern

Carcinoma cells proliferate in cords

Various stains

Cytokeratin+, CD34-

Hyaluronic acid+

Positive stains
Electron microscopy description

Images hosted on other servers:

Surface epithelial cells with microvillous processes

No intracytoplasmic vacuoles

Differential diagnosis
Back to top