Journal of Cytology
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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 85-92

Effusion cytomorphology of small round cell tumors

1 Department of Clinical Laboratory, National Cancer Center Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
2 Department of Clinical Laboratory, National Cancer Center Hospital, Tokyo; Department of Pathology and Clinical Laboratory, Kansai Medical University, Osaka, Japan

Correspondence Address:
Katsuhide Ikeda
Department of Medical Technology and Sciences, International University of Health and Welfare, 4-3 Kozunomori, Narita-shi, Chiba - 286-8686
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-9371.182529

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Background: Small round cell tumors (SRCTs) are a group of tumors composed of small, round, and uniform cells with high nuclear/cytoplasmic (N/C) ratios. The appearance of SRCT neoplastic cells in the effusion fluid is very rare. We reported the cytomorphological findings of SRCTs in effusion cytology, and performed statistical and mathematical analyses for a purpose to distinguish SRCTs. Materials and Methods: We analyzed the cytologic findings of effusion samples from 40 SRCT cases and measured the lengths of the nuclei, cytoplasms, and the cell cluster areas. The SRCT cases included 14 Ewing sarcoma (EWS)/primitive neuroectodermal tumor cases, 5 synovial sarcoma cases, 6 rhabdomyosarcoma cases, 9 small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) cases, and 6 diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBL) cases. Results: Morphologically, there were no significant differences in the nuclear and cytoplasmic lengths in cases of EWS, synovial sarcoma, and rhabdomyosarcoma. The cytoplasmic lengths in cases of SCLC and DLBL were smaller than those of EWS, synovial sarcoma, and rhabdomyosarcoma. The nuclear density of the cluster in SCLC was higher than that in other SRCTs, and cases of DLBL showed a lack of anisokaryosis and anisocytosis. Conclusion: We believe that it might be possible to diagnose DLBL and SCLC from cytologic analysis of effusion samples but it is very difficult to use this method to distinguish EWS, synovial sarcoma, and rhabdomyosarcoma. Statistical and mathematical analyses indicated that nuclear density and dispersion of nuclear and cytoplasmic sizes are useful adjuncts to conventional cytologic diagnostic criteria, which are acquired from experience.

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