Breast malignant, males, children
Carcinoma subtypes
Lobular carcinoma - signet ring variant

Author: Monika Roychowdhury, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 28 October 2016, last major update August 2012

Copyright: (c) 2002-2016, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Signet ring variant of lobular carcinoma

Cite this page: Lobular carcinoma - signet ring variant. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://pathologyoutlines.com/topic/breastmalignantlobularsignet.html. Accessed December 8th, 2016.
Definition / General
  • "Significant" number of cells with signet rings (20% in one study)
  • First described in 1976 (Cancer 1976;37:828)
  • Signet ring: a ring that can create a wax impression or seal to close an envelope or sign a document, in a secure, not easily copied way (image)
Clinical Features
  • Rare
  • Signet ring appearance may be due to blockage in secretion because of deletion of necessary enzyme, or to disruption of E-cadherin / beta-catenin complex (J Pathol 2007;212:278)
  • Associated with poor prognosis, metastases to GI tract and female genital tract (metastases may not have signet ring features)
Case Reports
Micro Description
  • "Significant" number of cells with signet rings (20% in one study)
  • Cells not as bizarre as pleomorphic lobular carcinoma
  • Some lobular features
Micro Images

Images hosted on PathOut server:

Courtesy of Mark R. Wick, M.D.

AFIP



Images hosted on Flickr:

Mixed classic and signet ring morphology



Courtesy of Dr. Semir Vranic

E-cadherin, courtesy of Dr. Semir Vranic



Images hosted on other servers:

Mixed classic and signet ring morphology

Prominent signet ring cells

Vacuolated cytoplasm with crescentic nuclei

Associated with papilloma

Vacuolated cytoplasm with crescentic nuclei

CK8

Positive Stains
Negative Stains
Electron Microscopy Description
  • Large membrane bound vacuoles
Differential Diagnosis