Other carcinoma subtypes, not WHO classified

Signet ring cell

Last author update: 1 August 2012
Last staff update: 14 May 2021

Copyright: 2002-2022,, Inc.

PubMed search: Signet ring cell [title] breast

Monika Roychowdhury, M.D.
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Cite this page: Roychowdhury M. Signet ring cell. website. Accessed July 6th, 2022.
Definition / general
Case reports
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Mucin fills cytoplasm and displaces nucleus
  • Usually coexists with invasive ductal NOS
  • High nuclear grade; DCIS may be present, but no lobular features (by definition)
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Breast metastasis to stomach

Cytology description
  • Look for signet ring cells if plasmacytoid cells are identified
  • Favor ductal carcinoma if hypercellular, single signet ring cells, high nuclear grade and tubule formation
  • Favor lobular carcinoma if hypocellular, single signet ring cells and mild / moderate nuclear grade (Cytopathology 2009;20:321)
Differential diagnosis
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