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Apocrine hidrocystoma pathology

Author: Assoc Prof Patrick Emanuel, Dermatopathologist, Auckland, New Zealand, 2013.

Table of contents


Apocrine hidrocystomas are regarded by some authorities to represent cystic retention of apocrine glands. Others believe they are adenomatous lesions.

Histology of apocrine hidrocystoma

A cystic space occupies the dermis which may be unilocular (figure 1) or multilocular. The cystic space is lined by a bilaminar epithelium which has on its inner portion cells which are columnar, eosinophilic and show prominent luminal blebbing (‘apocrine snouts’) (figures 2 and 3).

Epithelial proliferations may be seen within the cyst.

Apocrine hidrocystoma pathology

Special studies for apocrine hidrocystoma

No special studies are needed for apocrine hidrocystoma.

Differential diagnosis of apocrine hidrocystoma pathology

Eccrine hidrocystoma: Some authorities believe these too are of apocrine origin. They are lined by an attenuated epithelium. Decapitation secretions are absent.



  • Weedon’s Skin Pathology (Third edition, 2010). David Weedon
  • Pathology of the Skin (Fourth edition, 2012). McKee PH, J. Calonje JE, Granter SR

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