Skin - Nonmelanocytic tumors
Carcinoma (non-adnexal)
Adenoid (acantholytic) squamous cell carcinoma

Author: Ghassan Tranesh, M.D. (see Authors page)
Editor: Hong Qu, M.D.

Revised: 13 October 2016, last major update November 2014

Copyright: (c) 2002-2016, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Adenoid squamous cell carcinoma [title] skin

Cite this page: Adenoid (acantholytic) squamous cell carcinoma. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/skintumornonmelanocyticadenoidscc.html. Accessed December 8th, 2016.
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

Micro 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)
Micro 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