Faecal Occult Blood Test

Case of the Month (Emma Scurrell December 2010)

Signet-ring cell carcinoma in the stomach a dog

The following are H&E sections from endoscopic biopsies taken from an area of diffuse thickening in the lesser curvature of the stomach of a 10-year old male Patterdale terrier. Clinical signs included chronic vomiting and weight loss. 

Fig 1. An H&E section of the gastric mucosa in which the subepithelial mucosa is infiltrated by neoplastic epithelial cells which display cytoplasmic distention with basophilic mucin (arrows).

Fig 2. Neoplastic epithelial cells at higher magnification. Note the prominent nucleoli in some of the neoplastic cells (arrows). 

Fig 3.  An H&E section showing normal gastric mucosa for comparison.

Final Diagnosis

Signet-ring cell gastric carcinoma


Signet-ring cell carcinomas are a variant of adenocarcinoma in which the cytoplasm of the neoplastic epithelial cells distends with mucin causing peripheralisation of the nucleus and resulting in the morphological appearance of a ‘signet ring’. These signet-ring cells are typically round to polygonal and do not form typical glandular structures.  As with all variants of gastric adenocarcinomas, dogs commonly present with advanced disease and local invasion, ulceration, fibrosis and distant metastasis is common. Metastasis most commonly occurs to the regional gastric and gastroduodenal lymph nodes, omentum and diaphragm and less commonly to the lungs, liver and spleen.

Previous Monthly Cases

Hypertensive Retinopathy January 2010
FIP in a cat - uncommon presentation February 2010
Phaeohyphomycosis    March 2010 
Scleral Rupture April 2010
Canine and feline epulides May 2010
Erythema multiforme in a labrador retreiver June 2010
Keloidal fibrosarcoma in a labrador retreiver July 2010
Cutaneous epitheliotropic lymphoma  August 2010 
Benign cutaneous histiocytoma  September 2010 
Iridociliary adenoma October 2010
Proliferative thrombovascular necrosis of the pinnae November 2010


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Faecal Occult Blood Test