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Diagn Cytopathol. 2000 Nov;23(5):333-7.

Hyalinizing clear-cell carcinoma of salivary glands in fine-needle aspiration.

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Division of Anatomic Pathology, Department of Pathology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75235-9073, USA.


Hyalinizing clear-cell carcinoma (HCCC) is a recently described distinctive salivary gland neoplasm. Because of its cytoplasmic clearing and the bland nuclear features, HCCC resembles other tumors. The authors describe the cytomorphologic features of four cases of HCCC in fine-needle aspirates (FNA) and discuss the differential diagnosis. Fine-needle aspirates from 4 patients with primary HCCC of minor salivary glands were reviewed. Smears were stained with Diff-Quik and Papanicolaou stains. The cytologic features of the epithelial and the stromal components were analyzed. Cell blocks were prepared, and findings were correlated with prior or subsequent surgical specimens in each case. The smears contained numerous cohesive small and large epithelial cell groups and sheets which had sharp outlines and showed focal nuclear overlapping. The cells had uniform round to ovoid nuclei, granular chromatin, and small nucleoli. The abundant, well-defined cytoplasm was clear in many cells but denser in others. No myoepithelial cells or hyaline globules were identified. HCCC seems to have characteristic cytomorphologic findings on FNA smears. Because these cytologic features are not specific, and overlap with those of a number of salivary gland neoplasms that contain clear cells, a high level of suspicion, clinico-pathologic correlation, and examination of cell blocks are necessary to suggest the diagnosis. A diagnosis of HCCC by FNA was suspected in 3 of the 4 cases reported here.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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