Custom Search



Pulmonary Pathology Online

Pathology of Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma of the Lung

Dr Sampurna Roy MD



Adenoid cystic carcinoma of the lung is a distinctive salivary gland-type malignant neoplasm that arises infrequently as a primary tumour in the lung.  

The incidence of primary adenoid cystic carcinoma of the lung is relatively rare.

The tumour is often located in the trachea or mainstem bronchus and presents as an endobronchial mass lesion.

Generally adenoid cystic carcinoma originates from the bronchial glands.

The tumour may cause bronchial obstruction with post obstructive atelectasis and pneumonia.

Grossly, most lesions are described as endobronchial and measure from 0.9 to 4.0 cm in greatest dimension.

Some cases, however, show poorly circumscribed infiltrative tumours.

The tumour demonstrates a variety of growth patterns which include - cribriform (cylindromatous), tubular, and solid.

Adenoid cystic carcinoma is generally regarded as a slow growing low-grade malignancy. However, this tumour has a high risk of incomplete resection because of its unique histological invasion patterns.

Disease stage at the time of diagnosis may play an important role in predicting the clinical outcome of patients with these tumors.

Despite their generally slow and indolent growth in other locations, adenoid cystic carcinoma arising in the lung may in certain cases be more aggressive with distant metastasis.

Immunohistochemical stains identify that the glandular component strongly reacts with broad-spectrum keratin stains and CEA, the myoepithelial component shows coexpression of keratin and actin filaments as well as variable expression of vimentin, S-100 protein, and GFAP.


Further reading:

Primary peripheral pulmonary adenoid cystic carcinoma: report of a case diagnosed by fine needle aspiration cytology.

Primary pulmonary adenoid cystic carcinoma: report of a case diagnosed by fine-needle aspiration cytology.

Adenoid cystic carcinoma of lower lobe of right lung: report of a case

Primary peripheral adenoid cystic carcinoma of the lung. A case report.

Adenoid cystic carcinoma arising in the intrapulmonary bronchus.

Adenoid cystic carcinoma of the airway: thirty-two-year experience.

Primary adenoid cystic carcinoma of the lung. A clinicopathologic and immunohistochemical study of 16 cases.

Bilateral multiple pulmonary coin lesions--adenoid cystic carcinoma of the lung with 14-year follow-up.

Peripheral pulmonary adenoid cystic carcinoma with substantial submucosal extension to the proximal bronchus.



Dr Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)






Infectious Disease Online


Pathology Quiz Online 


Paediatric Pathology Online


Pancreatic Pathology Online




Endocrine Pathology Online


Eye Pathology Online


Ear Pathology Online


Cardiac Path Online


Pulmonary Pathology Online


Lung Tumour Online




Nutritional Pathology Online


Environmental Pathology Online


Soft Tissue Tumour Online


GI Path Online-India


Gallbladder Pathology Online


E-book - History of Medicine  


Microscope - Seeing the Unseen





Privacy Policy  

Advertising Policy

Copyright 2019