Skip to main content

01.12.2019 | Case Report | Ausgabe 1/2019 Open Access

Diagnostic Pathology 1/2019

Liver metastatic basaloid squamous cell carcinoma with negative expression of pancytokeratin: a case report and literature review

Diagnostic Pathology > Ausgabe 1/2019
Linxiu Liu, Xuemin Xue, Liyan Xue
Wichtige Hinweise

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.



Basaloid squamous cell carcinoma (BSCC) is a rare subtype of squamous cell carcinoma with a high rate of distant metastasis. BSCC occurs most commonly in the esophagus, lungs, and head and neck. However, BSCC occurring in an atypical site without a known primary tumor and/or with the presence of atypical immunohistochemical features can result in delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis.

Case presentation

Here, we report a case of a 67-year-old man with liver metastatic BSCC with negative pancytokeratin (AE1/AE3) expression. He presented with a chief complaint of epigastric discomfort. Imaging examination revealed a subcapsular mass in the right anterior lobe of the liver. Then, the patient underwent an irregular right hepatectomy. Grossly, the mass was gray, with a size of 7 × 7 × 4 cm. Microscopically, the mass comprised epithelioid tumor cells with both solid and pseudoadenoid structures, accompanied by necrosis. Immunohistochemical staining showed that the tumor cells were negative for AE1/AE3, CK18, CK7, CK19, Hepatocyte Paraffin-1, Glypican-3, Arginase-1, CD56, Chromogranin A, Synaptophysin, Vimentin, and Carcinoembryonic antigen. The Ki-67 index was 80%.The mass was diagnosed as a malignant tumor but could not be classified further. One month after surgery, the patient’s reexamination revealed esophageal tumor, and biopsy revealed BSCC. The slides of the liver tumor were reviewed, and the morphology was similar to that of the esophageal tumor. Moreover, supplementary immunohistochemical staining of liver tumor indicated p63 and p40 were strongly positive, that confirmed the liver tumor was metastatic BSCC. Previous studies have reported that 3.7% of esophageal BSCCs did not express AE1/AE3.


When a malignant tumor comprises epithelioid cells with solid and/or pseudoadenoid structures, but not adenocarcinoma or neuroendocrine carcinoma, even if the tumor cells are negative or weakly positive for AE1/AE3, we should consider BSCC. For a definite diagnosis, immunohistochemical staining for squamous cell carcinoma markers, including p63 and p40, and examination of common primary sites of BSCC should be performed.
Über diesen Artikel

Weitere Artikel der Ausgabe 1/2019

Diagnostic Pathology 1/2019 Zur Ausgabe

Neu im Fachgebiet Pathologie

01.03.2021 | COVID-19 | Schwerpunkt: COVID-19 | Ausgabe 2/2021 Open Access

COVID-19: Auswirkungen auf das zentrale und periphere Nervensystem

01.03.2021 | COVID-19 | Schwerpunkt: COVID-19 | Ausgabe 2/2021 Zur Zeit gratis

Biologie und Pathologie von Coronaviren

01.03.2021 | COVID-19 | Schwerpunkt: COVID-19 | Ausgabe 2/2021 Zur Zeit gratis

Nachweismethoden von SARS-CoV-2 in Gewebe

24.02.2021 | COVID-19 | Schwerpunkt: COVID-19 | Ausgabe 2/2021 Zur Zeit gratis

Praktische Aspekte von COVID-19-Obduktionen