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Anisocytosis and Macrocytosis

Variation in cell size, with some cells 1.5x larger than normal


increased cell exfoliation due to decreased cell adherence


variable size and shape in cells of the same type


increased nuclear size. Cells with nuclei larger than 10u in diameter suggest malignancy

Increased nucleus:cytoplasm ratio

Normal nonlymphoid cells usually have a N:C of 1:3 to 1:8 depending on the tissue. Ratios > or = 1:2 suggest malignancy


Variation in nuclear size. This is especially important if the nuclei of multinucleated cells vary in size


multiple nucleation in a cell. This is especially important in the nuclei vary in size.

Increased mitotic figures

mitosis is rare in normal tissue

Abnormal mitosis

improper alignment of chromosomes

Coarse chromatin pattern

the chromatin pattern is coarser than normal. It may appear ropy or cord-like

Nuclear molding

Deformation of nuclei by other nuclei within the same cell or adjacent cells


Nucleoli are increased in size. Nucleoli > = 5 strongly suggest malignancy. For reference RBC are 6-7u

Angular nucleoli

Nucleoli are fusiform or have other angular shapes, instead of their normal round to slightly oval shape


Variation in nucleolar shape or size (esp. important if the variation is within the same nucleus)

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