Oral cavity & oropharynx

Salivary gland tumors & processes

Acinic cell carcinoma

Topic Completed: 1 June 2013

Minor changes: 25 June 2021

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PubMed Search: Acinic cell carcinoma minor salivary glands

Nella Cristina Fernandez, M.D.
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Cite this page: Fernandez NC. Acinic cell carcinoma. PathologyOutlines.com website. https://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/oralcavityacinic.html. Accessed December 2nd, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Distribution of primary sites (n=11): buccal mucosa (4), maxilla / maxillary sinus (2), hard palate (1), junction of hard and soft palate (1), lower lip (1), labiomarginal sulcus (1), vestibular sulcus and mandible (1) (J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2010;68:2489)
Clinical features
Prognostic factors
Case reports
  • Surgical resection; possibly radiation therapy if high stage or grade or perineural invasion, although only occasionally is radiosensitive (J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2010;68:2489)
Gross description
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Growth patterns: solid, microcystic, papillary cystic and follicular; solid and microcystic are most common
  • Acinar cells: large, polygonal cells with basophilic, granular cytoplasm and eccentric nuclei
  • Intercalated duct cells: smaller, eosinophilic to amphophilic, cuboidal with central nuclei, surround variably sized luminal spaces
  • Vacuolated cells: contain clear, cytoplasmic PAS- vacuoles
  • Clear cells: 6% of carcinomas; round to oval with distinct cell borders and peripheral, small, dark nuclei; cytoplasm is PAS-
  • Frequent mitoses, focal necrosis, neural invasion, pleomorphism, infiltration; stromal hyalinization associated with more aggressive tumors (Barnes: Pathology and Genetics of Head and Neck Tumours, 1st Edition, 2005 [p216])
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Lip x10

Lip x20

Positive stains
Negative stains
Electron microscopy description
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