Mucin-rich variant of salivary duct carcinoma: A clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical study of four cases

Roderick H.W. Simpson, Anil R. Prasad, Jean E. Lewis, Alena Skálová, Leonor David

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Salivary duct carcinoma is a relatively uncommon aggressive neoplasm, typically found in the parotid glands of older men. The histologic appearance is that of an in situ and invasive high-grade adenocarcinoma, and it closely resembles ductal carcinoma of the breast. Several variants of the latter are very well known, but only papillary, sarcomatoid, and low-grade subtypes have so far been reported in salivary duct carcinoma. This study describes the clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical findings in four examples of an additional previously undescribed variant, rich in mucin. Each tumor showed areas of typical salivary duct carcinoma, but in addition there were lakes of epithelial mucin-containing malignant cells, i.e., mucinous (colloid) carcinoma. All four tumors expressed androgen receptors, cytokeratins, epithelial membrane antigen, gross cystic disease fluid protein-15, and carcinoembryonic antigen, but S-100 protein, other myoepithelial markers, and estrogen and progesterone receptors were negative. The mucin antigen profile showed positivity for MUC2, MUC5B, and MUC6 in all cases but only rare staining with MUC5AC and MUC7. Strong immunohistochemical overexpression of HER2/neu was demonstrated in one tumor, together with amplification by fluorescence in situ hybridization; another case was weakly positive with just one antiserum, but the remaining two tumors were completely negative. Small quantities of mucin have often been described in salivary duct carcinoma but not large extracellular mucinous lakes, which though prominent in the present series, were not as extensive as in mucinous adenocarcinoma. The relatively poor clinical outcome of the patients in our study mirrored that seen in usual-type salivary duct carcinoma and emphasizes the importance of differentiating mucin-rich salivary duct carcinoma from pure mucinous (colloid) adenocarcinoma, a tumor not fully defined, but possibly with a better prognosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1070-1079
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Androgen receptors
  • HER2/neu
  • Mucinous (colloid) carcinoma
  • Salivary duct carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Mucin-rich variant of salivary duct carcinoma: A clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical study of four cases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this