Carney complex

Last author update: 1 December 2016
Last staff update: 14 June 2022

Copyright: 2002-2022,, Inc.

PubMed search: Carney [title] breast

Monika Roychowdhury, M.D.
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Cite this page: Roychowdhury M. Carney complex. website. Accessed August 17th, 2022.
Definition / general
  • Carney complex appears to be preferred over Carney syndrome
  • Incidence of 70 cases per 100,000 individuals
  • Usually white, no gender preference
  • Mean age at diagnosis is 10 - 20 years (eMedicine: Carney Complex)
Clinical features
  • Myxomas / myxoid fibroadenomas, spotty skin pigmentation and endocrine overactivity
  • Also intraductal breast adenoma, spotty pigmentation present from birth, endocrine overactivity, malignant melanotic nerve sheath tumor (Am J Surg Pathol 1991;15:722)
    • Ductal adenoma: palpable painless mass near the areola
    • Myxomas occur in heart but can also occur on the skin (eyelid, external ear canal and nipple) and breast
    • Myxomas occur as nodular masses
    • ~40% of the patients have multiple and bilateral breast myxomas (breast myxomatosis)
  • Bone lesions, osteochondromyxomas or "Carney bone tumor" may also occur
Radiology description
  • Myxoma: on mammography appears as well defined, noncalcified, isodense or hypodense mass
  • Ultrasound may show well circumscribed, ovoid mass to complex cystic lesion
  • Ductal adenoma: soft tissue tumor with coarse microcalcifications, which may be irregular in a linear orientation
Radiology images

Images hosted on other servers:

Solid, ovoid, well circumscribed, hypoechoic lesion in breast

nodules corres-
ponding to myxoid

Two low density
masses in female
patient with
Carney complex

Clinical images

Images hosted on other servers:

Pedunculated, flesh
colored cutaneous
myxoma on trunk

Gross images

Contributed by Michael McCormick, M.D.

Angiomyxoma with epithelial inclusions

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Myxoma: in reticular dermis, bland stellate and short spindle shaped cells in myxoid (mucinous) stroma with prominent blood vessels
  • Ductal adenoma: tubules (longitudinal and parallel) in fibrous stroma
    • Tubules are lined by a single row of uniform epithelial cells with vesicular nuclei and eosinophilic cytoplasm
    • Secretions may be present in the tubular lumen
Microscopic (histologic) images

Contributed by Michael McCormick, M.D.

Epithelial inclusion


9 year old boy with Carney complex (molecular confirmation)


Melanotic psammomatous schwannoma, S100

Images hosted on other servers:

Breast myxoma at 5x magnification

200x; H&E stain


Polypoid neoplasm of
fibrillary collagen and uniform
stellate cells within abundant
connective tissue mucin

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