Eccrine spiradenocarcinoma pathology

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

Eccrine spiradenocarcinoma is a rare sweat gland tumour. It typically arises within a pre-existing eccrine spiradenoma that has been present for many years.

Histology of eccrine spiradenocarcinoma

In eccrine spiradenocarcinoma, sections show a areas of benign eccrine spiradenoma with an abrupt transition in morphology (figures 1, 2). The malignant areas can be carcinomatous or sarcomatous. The carcinoma typically shows marked nuclear pleomorphism, atypia and mitoses (figures 2, 3).

A low grade form has also been decribed in which the tumour cells show lesser nuclear atypia but the usual architecture of eccrine spiradenoma is lost, there are increased mitoses and often infiltration of surrounding structures.

Eccrine spiradenocarcinoma pathology

Special studies of eccrine spiradenocarcinoma

None are generally needed. Stains to examine lymphatics (D2-40) or the proliferative rate (ki67) may be helpful.

Differential diagnosis of eccrine spiradenocarcinoma

Metaplastic changes within a benign eccrine spiradenoma. Squamous metaplasia is not uncommon in benign lesions but usually shows minimal nuclear atypia.

Ask an online dermatologist now
Securely upload your symptoms and pictures using First Derm
(Sponsored content)


Related information



  • Pathology of the Skin (Fourth edition, 2012). McKee PH, J. Calonje JE, Granter SR

On DermNet NZ:


See the DermNet NZ bookstore