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Pulmonary Pathology Online

Exfoliative Pulmonary Cytology- 

Features of Bronchioloalveolar Cell Carcinoma

 Dr Sampurna Roy MD 




Image1: Bronchial washing-  Bronchoalveolar cell carcinoma - Cluster of regular epithelial cells (embryo-shaped).

Image2:  Sputum- Bronchoalveolar cell carcinoma -Three dimensional cluster of epithelial cells.


1. An uncommon tumor which may exfoliate profusely in sputum and lavage samples.


2. Multiple three-dimensional groups of small to medium sized cells with papillary or "embryo-shaped" forms.


3. Cyanophilic cytoplasm, vacuolated in some cases, but with no cilia.


4. Rounded nuclei, with granular chromatin and visible nucleoli, difficult to view in the center of clusters.


5. Necrosis is not usually seen.


6. Correlation with radiological findings of diffuse shadowing is important.


Further reading:

Cytomorphologic criteria of bronchioloalveolar cell cancer

Misclassification of bronchioloalveolar carcinoma with cytologic diagnosis of lung cancer.

Cytopathologic diagnosis of bronchioloalveolar carcinoma: does it correlate with the 1999 World Health Organization definition?

Bronchioloalveolar carcinoma: diagnostic pitfalls and immunocytochemical contribution.

Cytology and immunocytochemistry of bronchioloalveolar carcinoma.

Value of sputum cytology in the differential diagnosis of alveolar cell carcinoma from bronchogenic adenocarcinoma.

Bronchiolo-alveolar carcinoma: a correlative clinical and cytologic study.



Dr Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)






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