How are sebaceous adenoma (SA) lesions characterized?

Updated: Jan 30, 2020
  • Author: Ginard I Henry, MD; Chief Editor: Gregory Gary Caputy, MD, PhD, FICS  more...
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Sebaceous adenoma is multilobulated with frequent connection to the surface epidermis. At low-power view, it is sharply demarcated from the surrounding tissue with a proliferation of variously sized sebaceous lobules consisting of central, larger, mature sebaceous cells (sebocytes); peripheral, smaller, undifferentiated, germinative basaloid cells; and transitional cells.

The sebocytes contain pale-staining, foamy-to-bubbly cytoplasm, and central, crenated, hyperchromatic nuclei. The smaller, germinative cells contain round-to-oval, vesicular nuclei and basophilic cytoplasm. The transitional cells show more eosinophilic cytoplasm. The ratio of basaloid and transitional cells to sebocytes varies but is traditionally defined as sebaceous adenoma if 50% or more of the cells are sebocytes. The cellular lobules of sebaceous adenoma sometimes comprise ductal structures with holocrine secretion, which may result in occasional cystic degeneration or formation of intralesional cysts. Nuclear hyperchromatism, prominent nucleoli, and mitotic activity are rarely observed in sebaceous adenoma lesions.

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