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Acinic Cell Carcinoma : Cell Types

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Cell Types: Acinic cell carcinomas are composed of an admixture of different cell types, including a) acinar cells which are large polygonal cells with abundant basophilic granular cytoplasm (due to zymogen-like granules) and eccentrically placed small hyperchromatic nuclei; b) clear or vacuolated cells; c) intercalated duct-like cells which are cuboidal or columnar cells with eosinophilic or amphophilic cytoplasm (no zymogen-like granules) and centrally-placed small dark nuclei; and d) non-specific glandular cells with eosinophilic cytoplasm and vesicular nuclei.

Histologic Patterns: The tumor cells display a variety of growth patterns such as solid, follicular, microcystic, and papillary cystic. Solid and microcystic patterns are the most common and are often seen together. In this image, the acinar cells with their deeply basophilic cytoplasm are in a minority. They are surrounded by abundant non-specific glandular cells and intercalated duct-like cells. A few cells with vacuolated cytoplasm are also present.

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