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The Korean Journal of Cytopathology 2007;18(1): 36-45.
Cytologic Evaluation of Adenocarcinoma and its Mimics in Sputum and Bronchial Washings.
Young Chae Chu, In Suh Park, Suk Jin Choi, Lucia Kim, Jee Young Han, Joon Mee Kim, Jung Ae Park
Department of Pathology, Inha University College of Medicine, Incheon, Korea. ycchu@inha.ac.kr
ABSTRACT
OBJECTIVE: To identify key cytologic features for diagnosis of adenocarcinoma and morphologic differentiation from reactive/reparative respiratory epithelium. STUDY DESIGN: The cytomorphologic features of 145 pulmonary cytology specimens (sputum and bronchial washing), which included 117 histologically proven adenocarcinomas and 28 non-neoplastic lesions, cytologically diagnosed as atypia and suspicious for malignancy (adenocarcinoma) were reviewed retrospectively. We analyzed 11 morphologic criteria in pulmonary cytologic specimens. RESULTS: Over 110 of 117 cases of adenocarcinomas revealed nuclear membrane irregularities, non-cohesive cells, single atypical cells, moderate to markedly enlarged nuclei and an increased nuclear/cytoplasmic (N/C) ratio. Chromatin clearing, chromatin heterogeneity and hyperchromasia were seen in 102, 99 and 97 cases, respectively. All 28 cases involving non-neoplastic lesions revealed hyperplastic reactive pneumocytes, hyperplastic reactive bronchial epithelium, or degenerating macrophages. The non-neoplastic lesions revealed a small number of atypical cell clusters and paucity or absence of atypical single cells. CONCLUSION: The most important morphologic features for diagnosis of adenocarcinoma are nuclear membrane irregularities, non-cohesive cells, single atypical cell, moderate to markedly enlarged nuclei and increased N/C ratio. Chromatin clearing, chromatin heterogeneity and hyperchromasia were also helpful features, while pleomorphism and prominent nucleoli were less valuable.
Key Words: Adenocarcinoma; Lung; Cytology