Skin nonmelanocytic tumors
Carcinoma (nonadnexal)
Mucoepidermoid carcinoma

Author: Ghassan Tranesh, M.D. (see Authors page)
Editor (personal): Hong Qu, M.D.
Editorial Board Member Review: Sara C. Shalin, M.D., Ph.D.

Revised: 5 September 2018, last major update November 2014

Copyright: (c) 2002-2018, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Mucoepidermoid carcinoma [title] skin

Cite this page: Tranesh, G. Mucoepidermoid carcinoma. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/skintumornonmelanocyticmuc.html. Accessed October 20th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Very rare in skin (~30 cases reported)
  • Probable sweat gland origin
  • Resembles similar tumor of salivary gland
  • Usually low to intermediate grade, some higher grade tumors perhaps better classified as adenosquamous carcinoma
Case reports
Gross description
  • Up to 0.6 cm, ulcerated and nonencapsulated
  • Flesh colored nodules, painless
Gross images

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High grade

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Circumscribed tumor, may not be attached to surface
  • Multilobulated nodulocystic tumor extending throughout dermis, exhibiting glandular and squamoid differentiation
  • Dermal lobules or cystic growth of low grade epidermoid, intermediate, mucinous cells and clear cells
  • Cribiform nests of epidermoid cells contain glandular spaces with mucin
  • Muclei are mildly atypical and contain scattered mitotic figures
  • Peritumoral fibrosis is common
  • May have focal perineural invasion
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Site unknown

Salivary gland Alcian blue-PAS

Salivary gland

Cytology images

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Salivary gland

Positive stains
Negative stains
Molecular / cytogenetics description
  • CRTC1 rearrangements have been detected in cutaneous MEC (like salivary gland MEC), but translocation t(11,19) or MAML2 rearrangements not seen (unlike salivary gland MEC) (Br J Dermatol 2009;161:925)
Differential diagnosis