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Diagn Cytopathol. 2015 Feb;43(2):117-20. doi: 10.1002/dc.23128. Epub 2014 Feb 19.

Fine-needle aspiration diagnosis of high grade adenoid cystic carcinoma metastatic to the pancreas.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Detroit Medical Center/Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan.


Pancreatic tumors are mostly primary tumors, with only rare metastatic tumors described in the literature. Here we report an unusual case of fine-needle aspiration (FNA) diagnosis of high grade adenoid cystic carcinoma of the parotid gland metastatic to the pancreas. The aspirate smears were moderately cellular and revealed numerous basaloid neoplastic cells. The cytomorphologic differential diagnosis included primary pancreatic tumor with small cell morphology as well as metastatic tumors. By immunocytochemistry, the tumor cells were positive for cytokeratins (AE1/AE3, CAM5.2, and CK7), and CD117 (C-KIT), and negative for CD45, WT1, synaptophysin, chromogranin, CD56, TTF-1, and CK20. The cytomorphologic features and immunoprofile in our case were consistent with high-grade carcinoma metastases from patient's known salivary gland primary. To the best of our knowledge, this case is the first reported encounter of FNA diagnosis of pancreatic metastasis with small cell morphology from a salivary gland neoplasm as primary site.

© 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


FNA; adenoid cystic carcinoma; metastasis; pancreas

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