Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

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Author: Mikael Häggström [note 1]


Microscopic evaluation on biopsies

Histopathology of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

The main findings are glands formations with atypical epithelial cells and desmoplasia. If histology, clinical history and radiology are consistent, then no further immunohistochemistry or other molecular workup is needed for the diagnosis.

Make sure to also evaluate any concurrent aspiration and/or bile duct brushing.

Further information: Pancreatic tumor


Grade as follows:[1]

  • Well differentiated: > 95% tumor composed of glands
  • Moderately differentiated: 50 - 95% glands
  • Poorly differentiated: < 50% glands


Example report:

A. Pancreas, core biopsy:
  • Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, moderately differentiated.

Comment: Note is made of concurrent aspiration cytology (DN-12-1234), which is positive for adenocarcinoma.


  1. For a full list of contributors, see article history. Creators of images are attributed at the image description pages, seen by clicking on the images. See Patholines:Authorship for details.

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  1. Jennifer Vazzano, D.O., M.S., Wei Chen, M.D., Ph.D.. Ductal adenocarcinoma, NOS. Pathology Outlines. Last author update: 15 June 2021

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