Adenocarcinoma of the prostate with atrophic features

Stephen J. Cina, Jonathan I. Epstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Adenocarcinomas of the prostate with attenuated cytoplasm (i.e., atrophic features) have not been studied formally and represent a diagnostic dilemma to the surgical pathologist. Forty-four cases of adenocarcinoma with atrophic features seen at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions were reviewed. Forty-two cases were seen on needle biopsy, and two were from transurethral resection specimens. Neoplastic atrophic glands were characterized by cells with a paucity of cytoplasm, such that the nuclei occupied almost the entire cell height. Atrophic cancers were defined as cancers with atrophic glands constituting ≤50% of the tumor. Only two of 44 patients whose prostatic adenocarcinoma showed atrophic features were on hormone therapy at the time of biopsy. Forty-one cases had an infiltrative pattern of growth. Thirty-nine cases were Gleason grade 3 + 3 = 6. Nuclear size was increased in 39 cases, and macronucleoli were noted in 21 cases. The most useful criteria to establish a diagnosis of adenocarcinoma were (1) an infiltrative pattern of growth, (2) the presence of macronucleoli, (3) increased nuclear size, and (4) the presence of adjacent, nonatrophic cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-295
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1997


  • Atrophy
  • Prostate
  • Prostatic adenocarcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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