Adenoid cystic carcinoma

Author: Branko Perunovic, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 13 April 2017, last major update May 2007

Copyright: (c) 2007-2017, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Adenoid cystic carcinoma cervix

Cite this page: Adenoid cystic carcinoma. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://pathologyoutlines.com/topic/cervixadenoidcystic.html. Accessed April 27th, 2017.
Definition / General
  • Uncommon (1% of primary cervical adenocarcinomas), occurs in elderly, black women with multiple pregnancies
  • Rarely occurs in women under 40 years (Gynecol Oncol 1989;32:26)
  • Poor prognosis due to frequent local recurrences and distant metastases
  • May be epithelial component of carcinosarcoma (Am J Surg Pathol 2001;25:338)
Case Reports
  • Radiotherapy and chemotherapy in elderly, surgery
Gross Description
  • Irregular, polypoid, friable cervical mass
Gross Images

Contributed by Dr. Ihab Hosny, Ohio

Micro Description
  • Nests of cells in cribriform pattern with eosinophilic / hyaline cores, resembling adenoid cystic carcinoma of salivary glands but without myoepithelial cells
  • May resemble adenoid basal carcinoma but has more nuclear atypia, expansile growth pattern, distinct stromal reaction and necrosis; mitotic figures, angiolymphatic invasion and hyalinized stroma are common
  • May have focal solid growth or squamoid pattern
Micro Images

Cribriform architecture and basement membrane material

Figure 1: friable and ulcerated cervical mass
2: cribriform islands of basaloid cells with peripheral palisading, high N/C ratio and scant mitotic activity
3: focal solid pattern
4: infiltrating cords of cells within basement membrane-like material

Contributed by Dr. Ihab Hosny, Ohio:

Vascular invasion




High molecular weight keratin


Other sites:


Cytology Description
Negative Stains
Molecular / Cytogenetics Description
Electron Microscopy Description
Differential Diagnosis
Additional References