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Acta Cytol. 2004 Jan-Feb;48(1):47-51.

Cytologic features of clear cell carcinoma of the female genital tract. Diagnostic value of the "raspberry body" in nonexfoliative cytologic specimens.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University Hospital, Guadalaiara, Spain.



To evaluate the presence of basement membrane stromal material in fine needle aspiration (FNA) and scrape cytologic specimens from patients with clear cell carcinoma (CCC) of the female genital tract.


The study group consisted of 6 patients with CCC (5 ovarian and 1 cervical). Four samples corresponded to FNA specimens and 3 to scrape material obtained during intraoperative consultation for ovarian tumors. FNA was performed on a pelvic recurrence and on liver, pulmonary and lymph node metastases. The 6 cases had a complete histopathologic study.


In addition to large, clear cells, all cases showed basement membrane stromal material that assumed several forms. The most common was globular, hyaline structures, either naked or surrounded by neoplastic epithelial cells ("raspberry bodies"). Other fragments were larger, with several spherules and elongated prolongations. Scrape material showed stromal material resembling reduplicated basement membrane material. In Diff-Quik-stained smears (QCA, Tarragana, Spain) it showed metachromatic staining with a pink to purple color. Its recognition on Papanicolaou-stained smears was more difficult since it did not stain or was gray.


Basement membrane stromal material and, more precisely, "raspberry bodies," are a characteristic cytologic feature of CCC of the female genital tract. The combination of clear, atypical cells and basement membrane stroma is highly specific to this neoplasm and can be observed not only in exfoliative specimens but also in FNA and scrape samples.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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