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Ultrastructural study of conventional chondrosarcomas and myxoid- and mesenchymal-chondrosarcomas.


Five cases of conventional chondrosarcomas (CS.) of graded malignancy, 3 cases of myxoid CS. and 2 cases of mesenchymal CS. were studied by electron-microscopy. The chondrocyte like tumor cells of conventional CS. were characterized by: an ovoid shape, eccentric nucleus, abundant endoplasmic reticulum with dilated cisternae of RER; cytoplasmic glycogen, lipid droplets, and filaments plus numerous thin cytoplasmic projections. The histologically high grade tumors showed fewer cytoplasmic organelles, bizarre nuclei and more prominent nucleoli than the better differentiated ones. The tumor cells of myxoid CS. were chiefly fusiform. The cells frequently presented a pattern of rows with good cellular cohesion, and scanty cytoplasmic projections. The most prominent cytoplasmic feature was a conspicuous RER. Abundant cytoplasmic filaments and cytoplasmic glycogen were also observed. The undifferentiated areas of the mesenchymal CS. showed primitive mesenchymal cells with rounded nuclei, and scanty cytoplasm which was poor in organelles and glycogen. The cytoplasmic membranes were very cohesive and cytoplasmic projections were not present. Scanty cytoplasmic filaments and conspicuous desmosome like junctions were observed. The intercellular matrix of conventional and myxoid CS. consisted of fibrils, glycosaminoglycan granules and collagen fibers. In the undifferentiated zones of the mesenchymal CS. the intercellular matrix was very scanty and did not contain collagen fibrils. The more immature cells correspond to the small undifferentiated cells of mesenchymal chondrosarcoma.

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