Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Changes that occur in Nuclei of Malignant cells

Nuclear abnormalities are the dominant morphologic feature of cancer cells. Key changes observed:

Nuclear enlargement (N/C ratio)

Irregularities of nuclear configuration and contour

  • Notches and Protrusions (“nipples”)

Nuclear texture: hyperchromasia and coarse granulation of chromatin

  • Hyperchromasia - Changes in nuclear chromatin (dark staining)
  • Coarse granulation of chromatin - Thickening of nuclear membrane

Abnormalities of sex chromatin in females

  • Sex chromatin body (Barr body) – represent inactive X chromosome in female cells. Presence of two or more Bar bodies may observed in cancer cell

Multinucleation in cancer cells

  • Nuclear: Grooves, Creases

Nucleolar abnormalities

  • Eosinophilic center, surrounded by border nucleolus-chromatin. Number and size of nucleoli increase. Comma-shaped (cookie-cutter shaped)

Abnormalities of cell cycle and mitoses

  • Mitotic rate - Exceed significantly the rate of normal tissue of origin. Abnormal mitoses - Abnormal number and distribution of chromosomes. Excessive number of mitotic spindle

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