Nonneoplastic signet-ring cells in the gallbladder and uterine cervix. A potential source of overdiagnosis

Moira Ragazzi, Carolina Carbonara, Juan Rosai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We describe 3 cases of nonneoplastic signet-ring cell change in ulcerated mucosa, 2 of them in the gallbladder and 1 in an endocervical polyp. In the gallbladder cases, there were focal collections of signet-ring cells both on the mucosal surface and within the lumen of tubules, whereas in the endocervical polyp, the signet-ring cell aggregates were entirely confined to the mucosal surface. In all 3 cases, the signet-ring cells were positive for Mayer's mucicarmine and immunoreactive for keratin AE1/AE3. The lack of nuclear atypicality, the arrangement in superficial and intraluminal nests, and the admixture with histiocytes and other inflammatory cells are in keeping with the interpretation that the signet-ring cells are disrupted mucosal goblet cells exhibiting hyperplastic and degenerative changes. A review of the literature disclosed only other 2 previously reported cases of benign signet-ring cell changes in the gallbladder and none-to the best of our knowledge-in an endocervical polyp. Awareness of this phenomenon is of importance to avoid a potential overdiagnosis of signet-ring cell adenocarcinoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)326-331
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


  • Gallbladder
  • Nonneoplastic signet-ring cell change
  • Signet-ring cells
  • Uterine cervix

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Nonneoplastic signet-ring cells in the gallbladder and uterine cervix. A potential source of overdiagnosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this