Adenoid basal carcinoma

Author: Ashwyna Sunassee, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 1 March 2017, last major update February 2017

Copyright: (c) 2003-2017, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Adenoid basal carcinoma cervix

Cite this page: Adenoid basal carcinoma. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://pathologyoutlines.com/topic/cervixadenoidbasal.html. Accessed October 23rd, 2017.
Definition / general
  • Rare tumor of the cervix, accounting for less than 1% of cervix carcinomas
Essential features
  • Very rare indolent tumor with favorable clinical course and excellent prognosis
  • Affects postmenopausal women, non white
  • Important to distinguish from adenoid cystic carcinoma due to different clinical behavior
  • Associated with squamous intraepithelial lesions (SIL)
Clinical features
  • Often asymptomatic and detected on routine Pap screen
  • May have vaginal bleeding
  • Usually associated with SIL
Prognostic factors
  • Excellent prognosis with low potential for metastasis and recurrence
Case reports
  • Conservative - LEEP, conization
Gross description
  • Cervix with no gross abnormality, rarely ulceration
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Solid basaloid tumor nests with peripheral palisading or cord like arrangement and some microcyst formation
  • May form acini structures without hyaline material
  • Small basophilic nuclei with inconspicuous nucleoli (J Pathol Transl Med 2015;49:396)
  • No desmoplastic stroma (J Menopausal Med 2013;19:154)
  • Associated with SIL (usually HSIL)
Microscopic (histologic) images
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Cytologic and histopathologic features

Rounded nests of basaloid cells infiltrating the stroma

IHC stains

Palisading arrangement around cellular nest

Cervical stroma

Cytology description
  • Often no findings or unrecognized on cytology, as many cases do not involve surface
  • Usually associated with HSIL and hence detected on Pap, HPV 16+
  • Three dimensional, dyscohesive groups of intact small and uniform cells with overlapping nuclei (Acta Cytol 1995;39:563)
  • Occasional peripheral palisading
  • No glandular structure formation
  • Dense basophilic, hyperchromatic nuclei with fine granular chromatin (J Pathol Transl Med 2015;49:396)
  • "Windswept appearance" when compared to reactive atypia
Positive stains
Negative stains
Differential diagnosis
  • Adenoid basal hyperplasia: absence of deep invasion into stroma
  • Adenoid cystic carcinoma: Collagen IV, laminin, CD117+, cribriform nests with hyaline material, coarse granular chromatin, more aggressive
  • Invasive squamous cell carcinoma: tumor diathesis, single cells, variation in size of nuclei