Sinonasal low-grade non-intestinal-type adenocarcinoma: A retrospective analysis and literature review

Ann Diagn Pathol. 2021 Jun:52:151709. doi: 10.1016/j.anndiagpath.2021.151709. Epub 2021 Jan 29.


Sinonasal low-grade non-intestinal-type adenocarcinomas (LG non-ITACs) are uncommon tumors with unclear histogenesis, although they are presumed to arise from seromucous glands or respiratory epithelium. We investigated the clinicopathological and immunohistochemical features of the tumors, with particular attention to the transition area from the normal epithelium to neoplastic cells and concurrent lesions; these features were compared with those of 10 patients with chronic sinusitis, who served as a control group. Seventeen patients with LG non-ITACs (17 tumors) were enrolled in this retrospective study (9 male patients and 8 female patients; mean age, 48 years [range, 16-74 years]). Tumor cells continuous with respiratory epithelium were detected in 10 tumors composed of a single layer of cells with papillary, tubular, or cystic growth pattern. The tumor cells were uniformly cuboidal to columnar and polar. In seven tumors without transition areas discerned, three tumors consisted of polygonal and flat cells with a solid, acinar, micropapillary and cribriform pattern. The others had the same morphology as those with transition areas. The tumor cells were positive for SOX10 (15/17), S100 protein (8/17), and CK7 (17/17). The normal epithelium connected to the respiratory epithelium was the terminal duct in the control group. Except for the lack of p63-positive cells, the immunophenotype and histomorphology of transition areas with LG non-ITACs were similar to those of the continuous areas between the terminal duct and the respiratory epithelium in the control group. LG non-ITACs are seromucinous tumors, some of which may originate from the terminal ducts of seromucinous glands.

Keywords: Low-grade adenocarcinoma; Non-intestinal; Seromucous; Sinonasal; Tubulopapillary.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnosis*
  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cell Line, Tumor / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor / pathology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Keratin-7 / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging / methods
  • Paranasal Sinus Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Respiratory Mucosa / pathology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • S100 Proteins / metabolism
  • SOXE Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Sinusitis / diagnosis
  • Sinusitis / metabolism
  • Sinusitis / pathology*
  • Young Adult


  • Keratin-7
  • S100 Proteins
  • SOX10 protein, human
  • SOXE Transcription Factors