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Diagn Cytopathol. 2012 Jul;40(7):619-23. doi: 10.1002/dc.21633. Epub 2011 Apr 6.

Small cell variant of malignant melanoma masquerading as lymphoma on fine-needle aspiration cytology: a case report.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin 53792-2472, USA.


The morphologic and immunohistochemical diversity of malignant melanoma is well known to pathologists but despite this widespread awareness the diagnosis remains a constant challenge, particularly when a noncutaneous or metastatic tumor is evaluated by fine-needle aspiration cytology. We present a case of the small cell variant of malignant melanoma mimicking lymphoma in a 78-year-old previously healthy male who presented with multiple pulmonary masses and a right-sided pleural effusion. This particular case was also immunoreactive for the hematopoietic marker CD43, a feature not previously reported in malignant melanoma. Cytologic, histologic, and immunohistochemical features of this case are presented and discussed.

Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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