SMARCB1 (INI-1)-Deficient Adenocarcinoma of the Sinonasal Tract: A Potentially Under-Recognized form of Sinonasal Adenocarcinoma with Occasional Yolk Sac Tumor-Like Features

Akeesha A. Shah, Deepali Jain, Emad Ababneh, Abbas Agaimy, Aaron P. Hoschar, Christopher C. Griffith, Kelly R. Magliocca, Bruce M. Wenig, Lisa M. Rooper, Justin Avery Bishop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


The classification of sinonasal adenocarcinoma (SNAC) is complex. The high-grade, non-intestinal SNAC group is particularly heterogeneous, with tumors showing widely variable morphology. SMARCB1 (INI-1)-deficient sinonasal carcinoma is a newly described, aggressive tumor that usually resembles sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma (SNUC) or non-keratinizing squamous cell carcinoma; however, glandular differentiation has been rarely reported and this feature may be under-recognized. We present a dedicated series of 12 SMARCB1-deficient SNACs. All tumors had an oncocytoid/plasmacytoid cytomorphology with variable degrees of glandular differentiation consisting of tubules and cribriform structures with foci of intracellular or intraluminal mucin. Three of 12 tumors exhibited foci of yolk sac tumor-like histologic features. The tumors were uniformly high-grade, with nuclear pleomorphism, elevated mitotic rates and frequent necrosis. By immunohistochemistry, all tumors were entirely SMARCB1-deficient, and 10 of 12 were CK7-positive. Occasional expression of CDX2 (4 of 12), CK20 (3 of 12), and p40 (3 of 10) was seen. Expression of yolk sac markers was variably present in tumors that harbored yolk sac-like areas but also tumors that did not: glypican-3 (10 of 11), SALL4 (6 of 11), HepPar-1 (4 of 11), PLAP (1 of 10), and AFP (1 of 11). SMARCB1-deficient sinonasal carcinoma, particularly the oncocytoid/plasmacytoid form, can demonstrate variable degrees of glandular differentiation. This unexpected morphology combined with variable immunohistochemical results may lead to misdiagnoses of high-grade intestinal or non-intestinal SNAC, myoepithelial carcinoma, or even yolk sac tumor or metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHead and Neck Pathology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019



  • Adenocarcinoma
  • INI-1
  • Sinonasal
  • SMARCB1-deficient sinonasal carcinoma
  • Yolk sac tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Oncology

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