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Am J Clin Pathol. 2010 Dec;134(6):894-902. doi: 10.1309/AJCP4T5SWATQLKTQ.

Aspiration cytomorphology of fetal adenocarcinoma of the lung.

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Department of Pathology, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA.


Fetal adenocarcinoma (FA) of the lung is an exceedingly rare malignancy. Many patients with the well-differentiated form are relatively young and with the high-grade variant are older. We describe the cases of 4 women with FA examined by fine-needle aspiration biopsy. Aspirates were moderately cellular with malignant, mostly aggregated cells. Glands and acini were present. The columnar neoplastic epithelial cells had homogeneous round nuclei with fine chromatin, smooth membranes, and indistinct nucleoli. With the rapid Romanowsky stain, subnuclear vacuoles were evident in some tumor cells; at times, this was associated with a focal extracellular tigroid pattern. Morule formation was present in the 3 specimens. Immunochemically, all tumors manifested epithelial and neuroendocrine differentiation. Cytomorphologic attributes included the following: (1) distinct subnuclear vacuoles, sometimes with an associated tigroid picture; (2) small, uniform, round nuclei; (3) morules; and (4) neuroendocrine differentiation in glandular epithelial cells.

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