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Diagn Cytopathol. 1986 Jan-Mar;2(1):46-54.

A correlative cytologic and histologic study of malignant fibrous histiocytoma: an analysis of 40 cases examined by fine-needle aspiration cytology.


A correlative cytologic and histologic study of 40 cases of histologically highly pleomorphic malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH) is presented. The fine-needle aspiration biopsy was performed preoperatively, and a diagnosis of malignant soft-tissue tumor could be established in all cases. The cytologic and histologic features corresponded well with each other. The two main cell types were mono- and multinucleated, large polymorphic, often bizarre, histiocyte-like cells and atypical fibroblast-like cells. For a correct diagnosis of pleomorphic MFH, it is important to recognize atypical large polymorphic tumor cells showing signs of phagocytosis: prominent cytoplasmic vacuolization, cell debris or even well-preserved cells within the tumor cell cytoplasm. Phagocytic activity was easily demonstrated in air-dried and May-Grünwald Giemsa-stained material. The differential diagnosis of MFH as opposed to other soft-tissue sarcomas and pleomorphic carcinomas is discussed.

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