Columnar cell variant of papillary carcinoma (CCV-PC) thyroid is a rare and aggressive tumor composed of tall columnar cells that form papillae, glands and solid structures. This paper describes fine needle aspiration (FNA) cytologic features in a case of CCV-PC occurring in the right thyroid lobe of a 27-year-old female. Smears showed tall columnar cells in monolayered, three-dimensional, acinar and occasional papillary clusters. Nuclei were oval or elongated and monomorphic. Nuclear pseudostratification, resembling that seen in respiratory epithelial cells, was present in some of the cell clusters. Occasional cells showed squamous or Hurthle cell metaplasia. Nuclear grooves and intranuclear cytoplasmic inclusions were not seen. Sections of the right lobectomy specimen showed an well-encapsulated CCV-PC with capsular and vascular permeation. Tall cell variant of papillary carcinoma (TCV-PC) can be distinguished from CCV-PC by the oxyphilia of the tumor cells and the absence of nuclear pseudostratification. Colorectal and endometrial adenocarcinomas metastatic to the thyroid may be difficult to distinguish from CCV-PC.
Paragangliomas are slow growing hypervascular tumour arising from neural crest cell derivatives throughout the body. In the head and neck region, the major paraganglial cells are located at the carotid bifurcation (carotid body), along the ganglia of the vagus nerve and along the nerves supplying the middle ear and jugular bulb. Less common locations include the larynx, orbit, nose and the aortic arch. Carotid body tumours are very rare neoplasms constituting less than 0.5% of all tumours. The true nature of the tumour is established at the time of attempted biopsy or surgical resection, sometimes with disastrous consequences. Only a few of the more than 500 cases reported in the literature have been studied and diagnosed preoperatively. These tumours must be considered in the evaluation of any lateral neck mass, even one located far from the carotid bifurcation. We report a case of bilateral carotid body tumours detected using 16-slice MDHCT in a patient who presented with pulsatile neck swelling for two years. This tumour is rarely malignant; however it produces serious problems by its progressive enlargement and impairment of adjacent structures in the neck. The treatment of choice is surgical resection; preferably to excise this lesion when it is small, because large, very vascular tumours are intimately attached to the carotid vessels and make surgical resection more hazardous. Pre-operative embolization can be performed in large tumours, as to facilitates surgery and reduce complication. In most of the cases, there is strong attachment of the tumour to the carotid arteries. When this is the situation, removal of the tumour means complete excision of both great arteries as well, and the mortality rate is 40 to 45 %. When surgical removal is not feasible, radiotherapy may help to control the tumour growth, although the results have not been encouraging. As it is very slow growing tumour with the growth rate of less than 5 mm per year tumours in old patients with significant risk factors for surgical intervention can be managed by observation alone.
141 salivary gland lesions that were subjected to fine needle aspiration (FNA) cytology at the University Hospital, Kuala Lumpur, from January 1993 to October 2000 were reviewed with a view to assess the sensitivity and utility of cytological diagnosis in diseases of salivary glands. The highest number of cases was seen in the sixth decade of life. There was no gender preponderance in salivary gland neoplasms except in Warthin's tumours that occurred predominantly in males. The parotid gland was the most frequent salivary gland needled. Seven cases (5%) presented with bilateral salivary gland enlargement. Cytological study yielded a neoplastic diagnosis in 74.5% cases. Of the neoplastic lesions, 71.4% could be definitely designated as benign and 25.7% as clearly malignant. Pleomorphic adenoma and acinic cell carcinoma were the most common benign and malignant neoplasms diagnosed respectively. 53 cases had histological correlation; of these, 49 (92.5%) were neoplastic. The overall diagnostic accuracy of FNA cytological diagnosis in salivary gland lesions was found to be 73.6%.
Squamous metaplasia (SM) of thyroid follicular epithelium is known to occur in a variety of non-neoplastic lesions as well in thyroid neoplasms, notably papillary carcinoma (PC). In follicular thyroid tumors, on the other hand, SM is very rare. This case describes cytological and pathological findings in a follicular adenoma (FA) that presented as a cystic lesion with extensive SM. The fine needle aspiration (FNA) cytology sample in this case yielded only necrotic material from the cystic area and squamous cells, which being mostly of immature type, were not recognised as squamous in the cytological smears. The needle missed the solid (neoplastic) component of the lesion and on the whole the cytological picture was considered to be equivocal. FA can now be added to the spectrum of thyroid lesions that can show SM. Awareness of this will enable cytopathologists to consider non-papillary lesions in the differential diagnosis of thyroid nodules that yield squamous cells.
Fine needle aspiration (FNA) cytology is now an integral part of the pre-operative investigation of breast lesions and the therapeutic protocol is today often planned on the basis of cytodiagnosis. However, from time to time the cytological picture may be equivocal or inconclusive. In recent years, nucleolar organizer region (NOR) scores have been explored for potential value in the diagnosis of malignancy as the scores in malignant nuclei are seen to be higher than in benign or reactive nuclei. With a view to applying NOR scoring in the evaluation of cytologically equivocal cases, we adopted the argyrophil technique for staining NOR s (AgNOR) in FNA cytological smears of 56 breast lesions, comprising 31 benign and 25 malignant lesions. Histological correlation was possible in 26 of these cases (17 malignant and 9 benign) and AgNOR scoring was done on paraffin sections of these as well. There was a significant difference between mean AgNOR scores in benign and malignant lesions in the cytological smears (P < 0.001). The AgNOR scores ranged from 2.5 to 5.0 per cell in benign lesions and 5.8 to 17.2 per cell in malignant lesions. None of the cases fell into the gray zone of overlap. One malignant lesion that was cytologically equivocal showed a mean AgNOR score of 6.08. The AgNOR scores on histological sections also showed a statistically significant difference (P < 0.001) between benign and malignant lesions with mean scores ranging from 1.34 to 2.58 dots per cell in benign lesions and scores of 2.42 to 5.28 dots per cell in malignant lesions. However, the scores overlapped in four cases and therefore it was considered unsuitable for routine diagnostic work. From this preliminary study, we conclude that an FNA AgNOR score of 5.0 and less strongly favours a benign lesion whereas a score above 5.0 would be in favour of a malignant lesion. A larger study would be needed to verify our impression that AgNOR scoring can be useful in cytologically equivocal cases.
Ki-1-positive anaplastic large cell lymphoma (Ki-1 ALCL), one of the more recently described pleomorphic types of lymphoma, affects mostly children and adolescents and is sometimes mistaken for carcinoma or sarcoma.
A detailed cytomorphologic study was done on fine needle aspiration smears from 651 benign breast lumps. Cytological categorization enabled the distinction of proliferative from non-proliferative and infective lesions in the majority of the cases. Lumpectomy provided the histological diagnosis in 584 cases, most of which were proliferative lesions. Gross cystic disease and fibroadenoma were the most common lesions encountered. Microcysts with apocrine change, sclerosing adenosis, proliferative disease without atypia, atypical ductal hyperplasia, atypical lobular hyperplasia, and lobular carcinoma in situ were associated with the dominant lesion in many of the cases. In all these cases, retrospective analysis of the cytological smears was done in an attempt to identify cytological features which may indicate these lesions.
BACKGROUND: Carcinosarcoma (sarcomatoid carcinoma) is a rare tumor with a high predilection for the aerodigestive tract. Cytologic diagnosis of metastatic carcinosarcoma has been reported in very few cases.
CASE: An 84-year-old woman presented with a 2-cm-diameter, right cervical lymph node that was referred for fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC). She had received radiotherapy for a palatal squamous cell carcinoma 2 years earlier. The FNAC smears had a sarcomatoid appearance. Repeat fine needle aspiration was performed, with cytologic and immunocytochemical staining. Careful consideration of the cytologic and immunophenotypic features led to an impression of carcinosarcoma. Histologic sections of the palatal biopsy that had been previously diagnosed as squamous cell carcinoma were reviewed, and a final diagnosis of carcinosarcoma was established.
CONCLUSION: Metastasis of rare lesions, such as carcinosarcoma may be confusing and difficult to diagnose on FNAC, especially when the cytologic sample shows a predominantly sarcomatoid component. The difficulty is compounded when the sarcomatoid component happens to have been overlooked on the initial histologic assessment. With representative cytologic sampling, immunocytochemical staining and review of the histologic material, the correct diagnosis was achieved in this case.
To type breast carcinomaon on fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) material and correlate the results with histologic typing, to grade breast carcinoma on FNAC material and correlate the findings with Bloom-Richardson histologic grading, and to determine the estrogen receptor (ER) status in cases of breast carcinoma by immunocytochemical (ICC) staining of FNA cytologic material and correlate the findings with ER status, as determined by immunohistochemical (IHC) staining of tissue sections.
STUDY DESIGN: Seventy-seven cases of breast carcinoma diagnosed on FNAC formed the basis of this study. Typing was done in all cases on the basis of cytologic features and grading in 62. (Fifteen cases were special types of breast carcinoma). In all cases, ER status was determined by immunostaining of cytologic smears. Results of tumor typing, grading and ER status on cytologic material were compared with the results of histologic typing, grading and immunostaining of histologic material obtained from mastectomy or wide excision specimens.
RESULTS: Tumor typing was accurate in 73 of 77 cases (94.8%). Fifteen of 18 cases that were cytologically grade 3 were confirmed on histology, while 3 proved to be grade 2. Of 40 cytologic grade 2 cases, 26 were confirmed on histology, while 14 cases were grade 3. Three of 4 cytologically grade 1 cases were confirmed on histology while 1 was grade 2. The overall accuracy for cytologic grading was 71% (44 of 62 cases). Thirty-seven of 40 ER-positive cases (92.5%) were labeled ER positive on ICC. One case was ER negative on cytology, while in 2 cases the cellularity of the cytologic smear was insufficient to assess ER expression. Thirty-seven cases were negativefor ER on IHC. Nine of these showed ER positivity on ICC, 26 were negative, and 2 had cellularity that was inadequate for assessment of ER. Sensitivity and specificity rates for ER detection on ICC were 97.4% and 74.3%, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Tumor typing, grading and evaluation of ER status on FNA C material in breast carcinomas are simple, quick and moderately reliable techniques that compare and correlate favorably with histologic typing, grading and ER status on IHC.
The diagnosis of villoglandular adenocarcinoma of cervix on cytological smears is often missed due to the relatively bland cytological features of this tumour. A 45-year-old female with an exophytic cervical growth had three cervical smears reported as unsatisfactory. A cervical biopsy followed by Wertheim's hysterectomy showed a villoglandular adenocarcinoma (VGA) of cervix. Vaginal recurrence of VGA was again missed on the first post-operative vault smear. The second and third vault smears showed characteristic features of VGA that enabled correct identification. Review of some of the smears previously reported as unsatisfactory showed architectural features of VGA in the three dimensional (3-D) fragments that were previously considered to be benign.
A 21-year-old lady was admitted with a one year history of painless swelling in the neck. The clinical features and radiological findings suggested a thyroglossal duct cyst. Histology of the excised duct cyst showed papillary carcinoma. Ultrasound examination of the thyroid gland was normal. The patient is on regular follow-up and is well two years following surgery.
Breast lesions with a significant spindle cell or mesenchymal component are not commonly encountered in fine-needle aspiration (FNA) cytologic material and include a heterologous variety of benign and malignant conditions, with phyllodes tumors (PTs) being the foremost differential diagnostic consideration. This study comprises 28 tumors diagnosed histologically as PT in which FNAC material was available for review. Histological sections and cytological smears from these cases were retrieved and subjected to detailed morphological review. Cytological parameters assessed included ratio of stroma to epithelium, pattern characteristics and cytological characteristics of the stromal, and epithelial components and the background cells. Large and hypercellular stroma fragments, dissociated spindle and plump stromal cells, often accompanied by large, folded sheets of epithelium were cytological features that characterized PT. Smears from malignant PT showed predominantly or solely mesenchymal components. FNAC was a highly reliable procedure for the diagnosis of PT, giving an accuracy rate of 92.8%.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the role of fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) in lymphadenopathy in human immunodeficiency virus-infected individuals (HIVII).
STUDY DESIGN: Thirty-nine HIVII presenting with lymphadenopathy at University Hospital, Kuala Lumpur, were subjected to FNAC. Cytologic smears were routinely stained with May-Grünwald-Giemsa stain. Special stains and immunostains were used when necessary.
RESULTS: In nine cases, the cytologic appearance was compatible with HIV type A and in one case with HIV type C lymphadenopathy. In 21 cases, acid-fast bacilli (AFB) were demonstrated in the cytologic smears, enabling a diagnosis of mycobacterial lymphadenitis. In one of these cases there was a concomitant infection with Penicillium marneffei that was overlooked on initial cytologic examination. The cause of granulomatous lymphadenitis could not be ascertained in one case, where neither AFB nor any other organisms were demonstrable. Two cases of histoplasma and one of cryptococcal lymphadenitis were diagnosed, as was one high grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that could be immunophenotyped on cytologic material. In three cases the aspirates were inadequate for a cytologic diagnosis.
CONCLUSION: Lymph node FNAC is a valuable investigative modality in HIVII. Most opportunistic infections (bacterial and fungal) can be correctly identified, and high grade lymphoma can be diagnosed and phenotyped.
Forty-eight patients with breast carcinoma were subjected to four quadrant fine needle aspiration (FNA) cytology examination of the ipsilateral and contralateral breast in an attempt to detect any accompanying benign proliferative lesion. Mastectomy of ipsilateral and open biopsy of contralateral breast provided material for histopathological study. Cytological evidence of epithelial proliferation was found in 8 (16.6%) cases which included atypical lobular hyperplasia (ALH), lobular neoplasia in-situ (LNIS), atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH), and proliferative disease without atypia (PDWA). In lobular proliferative lesions, cytological smears showed configurations of cells that resembled filled up or expanded lobular units. The cytology was not distinctive enough to distinguish the sub-types of lobular proliferations. Likewise, the presence of ductal alterations could be suggested by cytological study but the distinction of proliferative disease without atypia (PDWA) from atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH) was not possible on a cytological basis.
Seventy-eight symptomatic females without palpable breast lumps were subjected to bilateral four quadrant fine needle aspiration cytology. Cytological evidence of an epithelial proliferative lesion was seen in 44 of these cases. Based on the cytological evidence of proliferation, the site for open biopsy was determined. Histopathological study of the breast biopsies in these patients showed proliferative disease without atypia (PDWA) in 40 cases, atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH) in two, atypical lobular hyperplasia (ALH) in one and ADH with ALH in one case. Cytology was thus useful in establishing the presence of proliferative activity, commenting on the extent of proliferation, and thereby roughly mapping out the area of the breast most suitable for biopsy. On cytological grounds, it was not possible to distinguish the atypical hyperplastic lesions from the proliferative diseases without atypia.
BACKGROUND: The diverse range of diseases that affect the salivary glands may lead to problems and pitfalls in cyto-diagnosis. While false negative diagnosis of cystic salivary gland tumors is well known, false positive cytodiagnosis in nonneoplastic salivary cysts is less well documented.
CASE: An 85-year-old female presented with a painless left parotid gland swelling of three months' duration. Fine needle aspiration cytology yielded fluid, smears of which showed keratinizing squamous cells with nuclear atypia leading to a cytologic diagnosis of cystic squamous cell carcinoma. A total radical parotidectomy followed. Histopathologic study showed cystic dilatation of many of the salivary ducts, which were lined with metaplastic squamous epithelium that showed atypia. There was no evidence of squamous cell carcinoma.
CONCLUSION: Squamous metaplasia is known to occur in benign salivary gland lesions, such as pleomorphic adenoma and Warthin's tumors, as well as in salivary duct cysts and necrotizing sialometaplasia. However, atypical squamous metaplasia of salivary duct cysts mimicking squamous cell carcinoma on cytology is unusual.
Three patients presenting with parotid, submandibular, and/or lymph node masses were subjected to fine-needle aspiration cytology. Smears showed dissociated and clustered endothelial cells, eosinophils, lymphocytes, and Warthin Finkeldey giant cells. In two cases a diagnosis of Kimura's disease was suggested from the FNA cytologic smears. In the third case the presence of mononucleate cells with prominent nucleoli led to a suspicion of Hodgkin's disease. Excision biopsy and histopathologic study established a diagnosis of Kimura's disease in all three cases.
A five-month-old male baby presented with an abdominal mass which was found on computerised tomography (CT) to be involving the left kidney. Nephrectomy and histopathological study showed morphological featues of a malignant rhabdoid tumour. The tumour cells stained strongly for cytokeratin and epithelial membrane antigen and less intensely for vimentin. Electron microscopy revealed concentric whorled arrays of intermediate filaments within the tumour cell cytoplasm. The child was put on post-operative chemotherapy and radiotherapy but developed bilateral lung metastases and died three months after surgery.
A 52 year old Chinese woman with a 25 year history of sicca syndrome (primary Sjogrens syndrome) was investigated for 3 episodes of haemoptysis. Clinical examination was unremarkable except for the presence of dry eyes and xerostomia. Computed tomography of the chest revealed a lobulated mass in the posterior basal segment of the left lower lobe. Histopathological examination of this resected nodule confirmed the diagnosis of nodular amyloidosis. The normal radiolabelled serum amyloid P component scintigraphy and the absence of monoclonal plasma cell dyscrasia in the bone marrow strongly support the diagnosis of localised nodular pulmonary AL amyloidosis in this patient. Nodular pulmonary amyloidosis can be associated with sicca syndrome and often simulates bronchogenic carcinoma, bronchiectasis or pulmonary tuberculosis.