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Sebaceous carcinoma of the parotid gland. An immunohistochemical and ultrastructural study.

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Department of Oral Pathology, Hiroshima University School of Dentistry, Japan.


Sebaceous carcinoma of salivary gland origin is extremely rare and, because of its rarity, the clinicopathological characteristics and the histogenesis are not fully understood. We present a case of sebaceous carcinoma of the parotid gland which brings the total number of reported cases to 22. The tumor showed epithelial cell nests which were mainly composed of sebaceous cells with marked cellular atypia. In most of the nests, glandular spaces lined by ductal epithelium were present. Scattered mucous cells and flattened eosinophilic cells at the periphery of the nests were also seen. Ultrastructural and immunohistochemical observations of the tumour revealed coexistence of sebaceous and glandular differentiations in some tumour cells. Tumour cells with lipid granules often participated in the formation of glandular structures or exhibited intracytoplasmic lumina, and immunohistochemical localization of lactoferrin and secretory component, the functional markers of ductal epithelium of salivary gland, was demonstrated not only in duct-forming tumour cells but also in many sebaceous tumour cells. It seems likely that sebaceous carcinoma originates from pluripotential duct cells which can differentiate into sebaceous, ductal and mucous cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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