Pyloric gland adenoma: an entity distinct from gastric foveolar type adenoma

Am J Surg Pathol. 2009 Feb;33(2):186-93. doi: 10.1097/PAS.0b013e31817d7ff4.


Pyloric gland adenoma (PGA) is a rare neoplasm demonstrating gastric epithelial differentiation. In this series, we studied 41 PGAs from 36 patients. We compared them to 28 gastric foveolar type gastric adenomas (GTAs) from 25 patients. PGAs occurred in an older population with a mean age of 73 compared with 48 in GTAs (P<0.001). There was a significant female predominance, particularly for gastric PGAs. Morphologically, PGAs were characterized by closely packed pyloric gland-type tubules with a monolayer of cuboidal to low columnar epithelial cells containing round nuclei and pale to eosinophilic cytoplasm with a ground glass appearance. The cells lacked an apical mucin cap, a feature distinct from GTAs. An immunohistochemical panel of mucin core peptides (MUCs) and CDX2 was performed on a subset of the lesions. All PGAs expressed MUC6 with coexpression of MUC5AC, whereas GTAs expressed predominantly MUC5AC without MUC6. Both lesions lacked CDX2 and MUC2 except in areas of intestinal metaplasia (IM) found in some PGAs. Histologic features consistent with conventional dysplasia were found in 26 (63.4%) PGAs. Using a 2-tier grading system, 5 (12.2%) cases demonstrated low-grade dysplasia whereas 21 (51.2%) cases showed high-grade dysplasia including 5 (12.2%) cases with an associated intramucosal or more deeply invasive adenocarcinoma. This was significantly different from GTAs; all cases showed only low-grade dysplasia (P<0.001). In addition, 60% of gastric PGAs were associated with IM in the surrounding mucosa and 40% of lesions arose in a background of autoimmune gastritis, whereas these 2 conditions were only associated with 1 case (3%) of GTA. In summary, PGA is a distinct entity. Despite its bland histologic appearance, it is much more likely to be accompanied by background IM and autoimmune gastritis and can evolve into invasive adenocarcinoma displaying pyloric gland differentiation.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / complications
  • Adenoma / immunology
  • Adenoma / pathology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Autoimmune Diseases / complications
  • Autoimmune Diseases / pathology
  • Female
  • Gastric Mucosa / immunology
  • Gastric Mucosa / pathology*
  • Gastritis / complications
  • Gastritis / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Metaplasia / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Mucin 5AC / metabolism
  • Mucin-2 / metabolism
  • Mucin-6 / metabolism
  • Precancerous Conditions / immunology
  • Precancerous Conditions / pathology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / complications
  • Stomach Neoplasms / immunology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / pathology*


  • Mucin 5AC
  • Mucin-2
  • Mucin-6