Cytokeratin 14 (CK14, K14)

Author: Nat Pernick, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 10 December 2015, last major update October 2013

Copyright: (c) 2003-2015,, Inc.

PubMed Search: CK14[title]
Cite this page: Cytokeratin 14 (CK14, K14). website. Accessed October 27th, 2016.
Definition / General
Uses by Pathologists
  • Distinguish parathyroid oxyphil adenoma (CK14+) from carcinoma (CK14-, Am J Surg Pathol 2002;26:344)
  • Distinguish breast papilloma (stronger and more diffuse CK14 staining) from papillary DCIS (Am J Surg Pathol 2005;29:625)
  • Distinguish sinonasal squamous cell carcinoma (poorly differentiated or nonkeratinizing, both CK14+) from sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma or nasopharyngeal carcinoma (CK14-, Am J Surg Pathol 2002;26:1597)
Positive Staining - Normal
  • Basal keratinocytes in stratified epithelium (various tissue/organs)
  • Hair follicles (Br J Dermatol 2004;150:860)
  • Myoepithelial cells (breast and salivary gland)
  • Thyroid oncocytes
Positive Staining - Not Malignant
  • Breast papilloma (see above)
  • Odontogenic neoplasms (Oral Dis 2003;9:1)
  • Parathyroid oxyphil adenoma (see above)
  • Pseudoepitheliomatous hyperplasia-spinous and superficial layers of oral mucosa with paracoccidioidomycosis (Med Mycol 2006;44:399)
  • Renal and other oncocytoma (Histopathology 2001;39:455)
  • Thymoma
  • Trichoblastoma
Positive Staining - Malignant
Negative Staining
  • Normal oral mucosa, most renal cell carcinomas
Micro Images

Images hosted on other servers:


Breast carcinoma #1 is CK14+ (fig C)

Gallbladder adenosquamous carcinoma

Squamous cell carcinoma #1-oral (fig e/f)


Squamoid areas are CK14+ in urothelial carcinoma

Images hosted on


Skin in epidermolysis bullosa simplex patients

Additional References