Our experience with 1,094 consecutive fine needle aspirations (FNAs) of the breast in 918 cases is presented. Correlation between the FNA cytology and subsequent histology of the lesions was available in 211 cases. FNA had a sensitivity rate of 87.3%, a specificity rate of 99.3% and a positive predictive value of 98.2%. A false negative diagnosis rate of 5.1% occurred. The overall diagnostic accuracy rate was 95.7%.
Adrenal tumours are either functioning or non-functioning. Non-functioning adrenal tumours are generally asymptomatic and usually of enormous proportions at the time of presentation. A case is presented here of a patient with a huge right adrenal haemangioma which was successfully treated surgically. This unusual tumour was 25 cm in diameter, was well encapsulated and weighed 4 kg. The literature pertaining to this interesting case is reviewed.
Destructive thyroiditis commonly occurs during the postpartum period, with a prevalence rate of 5% to 16%, and is mainly due to postpartum autoimmune thyroiditis (PPT) and, very rarely, to subacute thyroiditis. The thyroiditis is similar to Hashimoto's thyroiditis and is generally painless in nature, although cases with painful thyroiditis have been described. We report a case of painful destructive thyroiditis occurring during the postpartum period, which was clinically and biochemically indistinguishable from the variant of painful PPT or subacute thyroiditis. Fine needle aspiration cytology showed multi-nucleated giant cells diagnostic of subacute thyroiditis.
Seventy-seven patients who had PAP smear cytology and colposcopic examination in a 2-year period between 1988 and 1989 were reviewed. Those with findings indicative or suspicious of malignancy were subjected to biopsy. All 50 patients thus biopsied were confirmed to have preclinical cancer on histological examination. Compared against histology, PAP smear cytology gave an accuracy rate of 90% (5 false negatives) and colposcopy gave an accuracy rate of 94% (3 false negatives). These results demonstrate that the two techniques are useful as screening tests for preclinical cervical cancer. The results are improved if they are used complementarily. However, there was poor specificity in the categorisation of cervical cancer by both methods. This was probably due to the subjectiveness of the two procedures. The study also raised the possibility of a higher incidence of preclinical cervical cancer in the Chinese ethnic group.
Pilomatricomas can be confidently diagnosed cytologically due to their characteristic cytomorphological features. However, these lesions are rarely encountered by cytopathologists and thus pose a diagnostic dilemma to even experienced individuals, especially when the lesions are focally sampled. We describe two cases of histologically confirmed pilomatricoma. The first case is of a 13-year-old boy with posterior cervical 'lymphadenopathy', and the second one is of a 12-year-old girl with a lower cheek swelling. Both aspirates comprised predominantly atypical basal-like cells, with prominent nucleoli. 'Ghost cells' were readily identified by cell block in case two, but cell block in case one yielded no diagnostic material. In case two, pilomatricoma was accurately diagnosed pre-operatively. A cytological suspicion of a neoplastic process was raised in case one. Despite being diagnostically challenging, pilomatricoma can be diagnosed with careful observation of two unique cytological features of the lesions: (1) pathognomonic 'ghost cells' and (2) irregular, saw-toothed, loosely cohesive basaloid cells, with prominent nucleoli. The role of thorough sampling of the lesion, with multiple passes of various sites, cannot be overemphasized.
Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) is increasingly gaining importance in clinical diagnostics settings. Due to the ability of the technique to detect chromosomal abnormalities in samples with low cellularity or containing a mixed population of cells even at a single-cell level, it has become more popular in cancer research and diagnosis. Here, we describe the FISH technique for detection of PAX8-PPARγ translocation in follicular thyroid neoplasms, and the optimal protocol for the detection of this fusion gene using in archival formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) thyroid tissue sections.
The traditional classification of infiltrating breast carcinomas into ductal and lobular can be diagnostically challenging in a small proportion of cases with equivocal histological features and in in-situ lesions with overlapping features. Distinguishing between the infiltrating ductal (IDC) and lobular (ILC) carcinomas is clinically important because of the different pattern of systemic metastases and prognostic evaluation. E-cadherin is a potentially useful immunohistochemical marker which may serve to differentiate between the two tumour types. We therefore studied E-cadherin expression in 32 cases of breast carcinomas comprising 16 IDCs and 16 ILCs. The correlation between E-cadherin expression and the histological grade of IDCs was also analysed. Our results showed complete loss of E-cadherin expression in all ILCs, while the IDCs consistently showed variable E-cadherin positivity. No significant correlation was found between E- cadherin expression and the histological grade of IDCs. We conclude from this study that E-cadherin is a useful marker to differentiate between IDC and ILC of the breast. A larger study of IDCs is now needed to further evaluate the correlation between E-cadherin and tumour grade to estimate its prognostic potential.
A 25-year-old man was referred to Hospital UKM with a 2-week history of fever, productive cough and loss of appetite. Physical examination revealed an ill-looking, tachypnoeic young man. No obvious lymphadenopathy or organomegaly was noted. Examination of the respiratory system revealed right pleural effusion. Full blood picture demonstrated leukocytosis with 90% blasts, and bone marrow examination confirmed the diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) French-American-British (FAB) classification of M4 with eosinophilia. His chromosome karyotyping showed complex karyotypic abnormalities. Cytological examination of the pleural fluid demonstrated numerous blast cells indicating leukemic infiltration of the lungs, which is a rare presentation in AML. He was then started on induction chemotherapy with intravenous daunorubicin and cytarabine. In the midst of treatment, he developed an episode of seizure and cerebro-spinal fluid cytology confirmed central nervous system (CNS) leukaemic infiltration. Additional intrathecal methotraxate was given. Repeat bone marrow examination done on day 15 of chemotherapy showed persistence of excess blasts indicating refractory AML. He was then reinduced with high dose cytarabine but to no avail. The disease progressed and he succumbed about 8 weeks after the initial diagnosis was made. We highlight here a case of AML-M4Eo with complex karyoyptic abnormalities presenting with leukaemic infiltration of the lungs and CNS which had imparted a bad prognosis for this subtype of AML, AML-M4Eo.
The aim of the study was: to obtain the profile of patients (with regards to age and family history of breast cancer) with a palpable breast mass. To determine the validity of ultrasound in the assessment of the palpable breast mass by determining the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value and accuracy of ultrasound in distinguishing a malignant mass. To determine the most discriminating ultrasound characteristics for differentiating benign and malignant masses. Seventy patients who had fine needle aspiration cytology of a palpable breast mass were subjected to an ultrasound assessment of the mass. The ultrasound findings were classified as benign, indeterminate or malignant. These findings were then compared with either the cytology or histology results in cases that eventually had surgical excision. The age of the patients ranged from 15 to 66 years old The majority was in the third and fourth decades with an average age of 25 years. The 8 patients with a proven malignant breast mass were aged between 39 and 66 years old. They did not have any family history of breast cancer. Only 4 patients had a family history of breast carcinoma and all proved to have a benign breast lesion. Ultrasound had a sensitivity of 100%, specificity of 85.7%, positive predictive value of 50%, negative predictive value of 100% and accuracy of 87.5% for distinguishing a malignant mass. For benign masses: 93.7% had well-defined margins, 81.3% had homogenous internal echoes, 91.7% had depth-width ratio of less than 1.0 and 89% were compressible. For malignant masses: 87.5% had either ill-defined or irregular margins, 87.5% had inhomogenous internal echoes and mixed posterior echoes, and 100% were incompressible. The majority of patients with a palpable breast mass were aged below 40 years old. Most of the patients with a malignant breast mass were aged 40 years and older. Neither a positive nor a negative family history of breast cancer had any significance on outcome. Ultrasound had high sensitivity, specificity and accuracy in distinguishing a malignant mass. The most discriminating benign ultrasound characteristic was compressibility. The most discriminating malignant ultrasound characteristic was ill-defined and irregular margins.
A rare case of primary squamous cell carcinoma of the thyroid is reported herein. A 64-year-old Malay lady presented with a gradually enlarging thyroid nodule for the past 6 months and underwent total thyroidectomy. Histopathology revealed a squamous cell carcinoma of the thyroid with complete resection. Possible primary tumour elsewhere was excluded. Postoperative irradiation was given and patient is still alive after 2 years of follow-up.
CD44 is a cell adhesion molecule that plays an important role in the cascade of metastasis and progression of human malignant tumours. A large family of variants or isoforms, generated by alternative splicing of a single gene, has been reported to be involved in the malignant process by conferring metastatic potential to non-metastatic cells. The objective of this study was to compare the expression of CD44 standard molecule with the International Neuroblastoma Pathology Classification (INPC) for neuroblastic tumours, a histological grading system based on the Shimada system for predicting the clinical outcome in neuroblastic tumours.
The cytological features of a rare case of undifferentiated (embryonal) sarcoma of the liver are presented. The cytology smears showed singly dispersed polygonal and spindle cells as well as loose clusters of cells held together in myxoid material. Neoplastic cells were generally large with round, oval or lobulated nuclei. The cytoplasm was variable in amount with ill-defined borders. Occasional multinucleated cells were also present. Hyaline globules were present on sections of the cell block. Immunohistochemical studies performed showed positivity for vimentin, cytokeratin and alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAT) in the tumour cells.
Realtime ultrasonography with general purpose sector transducer was used to guide 87 percutaneous biopsies on 82 patients with lesions suspected to be mediastinal masses on plain chest radiographs. In seven patients who had dyspnea the biopsies were done in erect or semi-erect sitting positions. Definitive diagnosis was obtained from 66 lesions (80.5%) where 46 (70.0%) were mediastinal and the remaining 20 lesions (30.0%) arising from the lung. Of the 46 mediastinal lesions where specific diagnosis were made, 42 (91.0%) were anterior and four (0.9%) posterior mediastinal lesions. The majority of these anterior mediastinal masses were lymphomatous nodes followed by germ cell tumours whereas all four posterior mediastinal masses were neurogenic. Of the lung lesions, 19 were primary malignancies. The remaining lung lesion which was located posteriorly was cryptococcus infection. One patient developed massive hemothorax, but subsequently recovered. No significant complications were encountered in the remaining patients. Surgery was carried on 11 patients. There is correlation between definitive diagnosis from percutaneous biopsy and final diagnosis after surgery in 80% of patients. It is proposed that all percutaneous biopsies for thoracic masses which abut the chest wall and cause mediastinal widening on a plain chest radiograph be guided by ultrasound. It can be effectively accomplished with ease and safety even without the use of dedicated biopsy ultrasound probes or biopsy attachments, and on patients in erect or semi-erect positions.
Dendritic fibromyxolipoma (DFML), a rare, recently described distinct benign soft tissue tumor, has many clinicopathological features reminiscent of spindle cell lipoma and solitary fibrous tumor with myxoid change. It is distinguished histologically from both entities by the presence of spindle and stellate cells with dendritic cytoplasmic prolongations, prominent myxoid stroma with abundant keloidal collagen and occasional small plexiform vascular proliferation. We describe a case of histologically confirmed DFML of the left shoulder in a 67-year-old male, in which subsequent cytogenetic analysis revealed deletion involving 13q14.3 region in all the tumor cells, typically detected in spindle cell lipoma. In the presence of many clinicopathological similarities between DFML and spindle cell lipoma including chromosomal abnormalities, we postulate that DFML is merely a rare variant of spindle cell lipoma with extensive myxoid degeneration, and may not be considered as a separate entity. The possible differential diagnosis and their distinguishing features are briefly discussed.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Malaysian women. This study aimed to determine the reproductive for premenopausal breast cancer risk in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. A case-control study was conducted in 216 histopathologically confirmed cases of premenopausal breast cancer and 216 community-based controls that were matched by age within a 5-year period and ethnicity. The results of this study showed that premenopausal breast cancer risks were strongly related to parity, number of live births and family history of breast cancer. Premenopausal women with these known reproductive and family history risk factors should take extra measures to undergo appropriate screening method for early detection of breast cancer.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a leading factor for tumour angiogenesis and p53 protein is the product of a tumor suppressor gene. The main aim of the study was to assess the association of p53 protein with VEGF expression in breast carcinoma.
Juvenile myelomonocytic leukaemia (JMML), previously known as juvenile chronic myeloid leukaemia (JCML) is a rare, myelodysplastic - myeloproliferative disease typically presenting in early childhood. This disorder is difficult to distinguish from other myeloproliferative syndrome such as chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML) because of the similarities in their clinical and bone marrow findings. However, because of its unique biological characteristics such as absolute monocytosis with dysplasia, absence of Philadelphia chromosome or BCR-ABL fusion protein, hypergammaglobulinaemia and raised fetal haemoglobin level, this disorder does not satisfy the criteria for inclusion in the CML or chronic myelomonocytic leukaemia (CMML) group, as seen in adult patients. We describe a series of three patients with JMML, who had almost similar clinical and laboratory findings, and discuss the difficulty in the classification and treatment of the disease.
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer affecting Malaysian women. Despite the implementation of pap smear screening, many women are still diagnosed only in the advanced stage of cervical cancer. This could partly be due to failure of detection of its precursor lesions; hence the need to search for novel biomarkers to assist in the screening and diagnosis of cervical neoplasia. This study aims to determine the expression of p16INK4A and survivin as possible predictive biomarkers in cervical squamous neoplasm.
Cervical cancer is the second most common female malignancy in Malaysia. Despite advances in treatment, the overall survival for this disease has not changed in the last decade. Infection by certain types of HPV is recognized as a causal and necessary factor for its development. This study was carried out to determine the prevalence of HPV infection in abnormal cervical smears in Malaysian patients using archival cervical smears retrieved from the Cytopathology Unit, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (UKMMC) between the years 1992-1995. DNA was extracted from 38 abnormal smears comprising 25 intraepithelial lesions and 13 cervical carcinomas and 10 normal smears. Amplification of HPV genes was carried out using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique. HPV genotypes were determined using direct sequencing and the results were compared to the database from Genebank. DNA was successfully extracted from all 48 cervical smears. High-risk HPV (HR-HPV) genotypes were detected in 95% of the abnormal smears. Eight high-risk oncogenic types were identified: 16, 18, 31, 51, 52, 56, 58 and 66. All (100%) cervical cancer smears showed presence of HR-HPV compared to 92% of the cervical intraepithelial lesions. Among the eight HR-HPV genotypes identified, HPV 16 and 52 were the commonest (23.7% each) HPV genotypes encountered and among the CIN lesions, HPV 16 (28%) was the most frequent. We conclude that HPV 16 is the most prevalent HPV genotype present in abnormal cervical smears in Malaysian patients, and that the use of archival material to assess the presence of HPV is potentially worthwhile, and can be utilized for longitudinal studies of HPV presence and persistence.