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Pathology of Apocrine Adenoma

(Tubular ; Tubulopapillary ;


Dr Sampurna Roy MD        


Dermatopathology Quiz Case: 129

Diagnosis: Tubular Apocrine Adenoma




Apocrine adenomas are rare adnexal tumours.

Tubular apocrine adenoma (tubulopapillary hidradenoma with apocrine differentiation) was first described in 1972. 

Related post : Papillary Eccrine Adenoma

Tubular apocrine adenomas show some features of syringocystadenoma papilliferum .Some cases have been associated with naevus sebaceous.

Clinical presentation: Slow growing circumscribed nodule.

Site: Apocrine adenomas have been reported in the axilla, cheek and breast.

Cases reported in vulval and perianal region are now known as 'adenomas of anogenital mammary-like glands'. 

Tubular apocrine adenomas are often located on the scalp.

Microscopic features:

Tumour is composed of well-differentiated dilated tubular structures situated in the dermis and sometimes in the subcutis ; 

Tubules contain typical apocrine epithelial cells, some with hyaline or clear cell differentiation ;

Myoepithelial cells are also present (absent in adenocarcinoma) ;

Papillary projections and cystic changes may be present ;

Overlying epidermis may be hyperplastic ; 

Tubules are separated by fibrous tissue with scanty inflammatory cells.


Differential diagnosis:  Syringocystadenoma Papilliferum ;  Apocrine adenocarcinoma;


Further reading:

Lipomatous apocrine adenoma with syringocystadenoma papilliferum arising from the external auditory canal.

Case of tubular apocrine adenoma with follicular differentiation located on the trunk.

Tubular adenoma of the skin with follicular and sebaceous differentiation: A report of two cases.

Tubular apocrine adenoma of the nose.

Tubular apocrine adenoma: presentation in the vaginal introitus of an eight-year-old.

Axillary apocrine carcinoma associated with apocrine adenoma and apocrine gland hyperplasia.

Tubular adenoma and syringocystadenoma papilliferum: a reappraisal of their relationship. An interobserver study of a series, by a panel of dermatopathologists.






Dr Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)






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