Apocrine mixed tumour pathology

Author: Assoc Prof Patrick Emanuel, Dermatopathologist, Auckland, New Zealand, 2014.

Apocrine mixed tumour is also known as apocrine chondroid syringoma. These lesions present as non-descript dermal nodules which grow slowly. They most often arise on the skin of the head and neck.

Histology of apocrine mixed tumour

Apocrine mixed tumours form a well circumscribed dermal mass. These distinctive tumours are composed of both a mesenchymal component which is usually chondroid, and an epithelial component (figure 1). The cartilage is mature, with bland chondrocytes and a silver/grey matrix (figure 2). The epithelium is bland, and consists in most areas of two cell layers: a myoepithelial layer and a lining luminal layer (figure 3).

Special studies for apocrine mixed tumour

None are generally needed.

Differential diagnosis of apocrine mixed tumour

Malignant apocrine mixed tumour: Marked atypia, numerous mitoses and lymphovascular space invasion indicate malignant transformation (fortunately a rare event). Rare cases of bland appearing apocine mixed tumour have metastasized so some authorities advocate complete surgical excision of all tumours

Eccrine mixed tumour: These are composed of quite regularly spaced small glands lined by a thin epithelium set in a fibromucinous stroma Pleomorphic adenoma: These salivary gland tumours are usually morphologically identical. The location in the parotid gland or minor salivary gland allows distinction

Related information

Email Newsletter

Would you like to receive our dermatology updates by email?


Submit your images

We're seeking high-quality photos of skin diseases.  


Machine diagnosis

Watch DermNet's proposal to create a 'Skin Disease Image Recognition Tool' - winner of the 2017 'Clinicians' Challenge Active Award' by the NZ Ministry of Health and HiNZ.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
DermNet NZ Newsletter