Corpora amylacea

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Micrograph of corpora amylacea in benign prostatic glands. H&E stain.
Natural luminescence of corpora amylacea in the lumen of the prostate in ultraviolet light

Corpora amylacea (CA) are small hyaline masses of unknown significance found in the prostate gland,[1] neuroglia,[2] and pulmonary alveoli.[1] They are derived from degenerate cells or thickened secretions and occur more frequently with advancing age, and are particularly profuse in neurodegenerative diseases.[1] While their significance is unknown, they can be used to identify these organs microscopically. A report published in 2017 suggests a role of debris clearance for the CA.[1] This was described in an earlier report as a debris disposal system.[3]

In the brain, corpora amylacea are contained in foot processes of astrocytes and are usually present in sub-pial location and around blood vessels.[citation needed] In comparison to prostatic corpora amylacea, these are only faintly laminar and less eosinophilic. The major constituent has been shown to be amyloid in humans[1] and the CA in other species are known as polyglucosan bodies.[3] These bodies have no known pathologic correlation[citation needed] and can be confused with fungal yeast forms such as cryptococcus[citation needed].

In the prostate, where they are also known as prostatic concretions, they usually appear in benign glands; however, their presence cannot be used to exclude cancer.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e Röcken, C. (Oct 1966). "Corpora amylacea in the lung, prostate and uterus. A comparative and immunohistochemical study". Pathology, Research and Practice. 192: 998–1006. doi:10.1016/S0344-0338(96)80041-0. PMID 8958549.
  2. ^ Augé, Elisabet; et al. (3 February 2017). "New perspectives on corpora amylacea in the human brain". Scientific Reports. doi:10.1038/srep41807. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  3. ^ a b Cavanagh, J. B (1 April 1999). "Corpora-amylacea and the family of polyglucosan diseases". Brain Research Reviews. 29: 265–295. doi:10.1016/S0165-0173(99)00003-X.
  4. ^ Christian JD, Lamm TC, Morrow JF, Bostwick DG (January 2005). "Corpora amylacea in adenocarcinoma of the prostate: incidence and histology within needle core biopsies". Mod. Pathol. 18 (1): 36–9. doi:10.1038/modpathol.3800250. PMID 15309020.