Clear cell "sugar" tumor of the pancreas. A novel member of the family of lesions characterized by the presence of perivascular epithelioid cells

Am J Surg Pathol. 1996 Jun;20(6):722-30. doi: 10.1097/00000478-199606000-00010.


We report at unique, previously unreported pancreatic tumor occurring in a 60-year-old woman who was preoperative diagnosed on cytoaspiration as having clear cell carcinoma. The resected tumor consisted of a population of large epithelioid cells with clear or eosinophilic, granular cytoplasm, rich in glycogen, with nuclear pleomorphism and no mitotic activity. In spite of the epithelioid appearance, the tumor cells were negative for epithelial (CAM 5.2, KL1, AE1-AE3), endocrine (neuron-specific enolase [NSE], chromogranin A), and acinar (lipase, amylase) markers and positive for actin and melanogenesis-related marker HMB 45. Ultrastructurally, the neoplastic cells showed membrane-bound granules; no evidence of either epithelial or melanocytic differentiation was present. These morphophenotypic features have never been reported in a pancreatic tumor and overlap those of clear cell "sugar" tumor of the lung. The same morphophenotypic features are observed in a family of lesions characterized by the presence of the perivascular epithelioid cell that also includes lymphangiomyomatosis and angiomyolipoma. The present case may be considered a novel member of this family of lesions. We propose this new entity be named clear cell "sugar" tumor of the pancreas.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Clear Cell / immunology
  • Adenocarcinoma, Clear Cell / pathology*
  • Adenocarcinoma, Clear Cell / ultrastructure
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Epithelioid Cells / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / classification
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / immunology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / ultrastructure


  • Biomarkers