Acinar cell carcinoma of the pancreas: Clinical and cytomorphologic characteristics

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17 Scopus citations


Acinar cell carcinoma is a rare malignant epithelial neoplasm with predominantly exocrine acinar differentiation and is seen primarily in older men (mean age, 62 years). The presenting symptoms are usually non-specific, and jaundice is often not present. Symptoms relating to the overproduction and release of lipase into the circulation are present in 10-15% of patients. Characteristic cytomorphologic features include a population of cells with minimal pleomorphism, eccentrically placed nuclei with a single prominent nucleoli and moderate hyperchromasia. The cytoplasm is finely granular, and the background may contain granular debris secondary to cytolysis. A significant proportion of the cases also have a minor neuroendocrine component or scattered neuroendocrine cells. Approximately 50% of patients have metastatic disease at presentation, often restricted to the regional lymph nodes and liver. The prognosis is poor, only slightly better than that of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-99
Number of pages7
JournalKorean Journal of Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2013


  • Acinar cell
  • Carcinoma
  • Pancreas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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