Polymorphous low grade adenocarcinoma (PLGA) is a tumor of minor salivary glands that exhibits considerable morphologic overlap with adenoid cystic carcinoma and cellular pleomorphic adenoma, especially in small biopsy specimens. Unlike these other tumor types. PLGAs do not harbor a myoepithelial component, yet their frequent positivity for p63 diminishes the usefulness of this particular myoepithelial marker as a discriminating immunostain. p40 is an antibody that recognizes ΔNp63, a p63 isoform that is more specific for true myoepithelial differentiation. As such, p40 immunostaining could help distinguish PLGAs from adenoid cystic carcinomas and pleomorphic adenomas. In this study, p63 and p40 immunohistochemistry was performed on paraffin embedded, formalin fixed tissue from 11 PLGAs, 101 adenoid cystic carcinomas, and 31 pleomorphic adenomas. All 11 PLGAs (100 %) were positive for p63 but completely negative for p40. Among adenoid cystic carcinomas, 91 of 101 (90 %) were positive for p63 and 90/101 (89 %) were positive for p40. The single discordant p63+/p40− adenoid cystic carcinoma exhibited solid architecture and high grade features not typically seen in PLGA. Among pleomorphic adenomas, 21/31 (68 %) were positive for p63 and 13/31 (42 %) were positive for p40. For the pleomorphic adenomas, the discordant p63+/p40− staining pattern was seen only in the overtly mesenchymal chondromyxoid stroma. The cellular epithelial component of the pleomorphic adenomas demonstrated concordant p63+/p40+ or p63−/p40− immunophenotypes. PLGA consistently exhibits a p63+/p40− immunophenotype that can help distinguish it from adenoid cystic carcinoma and cellular pleomorphic adenoma, tumors that characteristically demonstrate concordant p63 and p40 immunostaining patterns. A p63/p40 immunohistochemical panel can provide a valuable tool for making the distinction between these morphologically similar but clinically divergent entities.
- Adenoid cystic carcinoma
- Pleomorphic adenoma
- Polymorphous low grade adenocarcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine