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Diagn Cytopathol. 1993;9(3):329-32.

Fine-needle aspiration biopsy of subcutaneous fat necrosis of the newborn.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City 52242-1009.


This report provides the first description of the fine-needle aspiration biopsy findings in a case of subcutaneous fat necrosis of the newborn. While initial interpretation of the aspirate smears was suspicious for a neoplastic process, subsequent incisional biopsy confirmed the benign nature of the lesion. Review of the cytologic material revealed rare, negatively stained, needle-shaped crystals within histiocytes and multinucleate giant cells. In the appropriate clinical setting, and given a mixture of lymphocytes, histiocytes, and multinucleate giant cells in the aspirate smears, we believe the finding of negatively stained needle-shaped crystals can strongly suggest the diagnosis of subcutaneous fat necrosis of the newborn.

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