Melanoma: cytological features

Malignant cells from Melanoma (epitheliod & pleomorphic subtype) usually contain moderate amounts of cytoplasm, and cytoplasmic melanin pigment is identified in tumor cells. Melanin pigment may also be seen in macrophages. The cells exhibit moderate to marked nuclear pleomorphism and, in some cases, contain binucleate and multinucleate cells. Nuclear chromatin is finely or coarsely granular, and nuclear membrane irregularities may be seen. Nucleoli are often prominent, and some cells may contain large eosinophilic macronucleoli. Intranuclear cytoplasmic invaginations (pseudoinclusions) may be seen.  Sometimes the background contains necrotic debris.

Short clinical history:

Ascites (cytology) &  Bone lesion (histology) in patient with primary cutaneus melanoma.

Cytological material:  Ascites

A-PAP 100X

A) The cells are often dispersed singly and occasionally in loose aggregates


B) In the middle of the field one large, pleomorphic epithelioid cells. Some cells containing granular cytoplasmic melanin pigment


C) Malignant cells with intranuclear cytoplasmic invaginations (pseudoinclusions)


D) Melanin pigment may also be seen in macrophages and in the background.


E) May Grunwald stain

Histological speciemen:

Bone metastases of the same case. Immunohystochemistry for this case is not available (it was performed on the primary tumor, in other istitution).   

F) Histology: ee 20x


G) Histology: ee 40x


H) Histology: ee 100x. 



Cytologic features of metastatic and recurrent melanoma in patients with primary cutaneous desmoplastic melanoma Am J Clin Pathol 2008;130:715-723.

All of the images showed are from my private collection.


Posted on 09/03/2012, in melanoma and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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