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Image Number 59 - Peritoneal Cavity, ascitic fluid, adenocarcinoma

Although the primary tumor is unknown this is an excellent example to highlight some of the cytological criteria that are used to determine malignancy: 1) Nuclear and cellular pleomorphism e.g. irregular nuclear border- normal nuclei are round and smooth. 2) Nuclear hyperchromatism with irregularly distributed chromatin. 3) A high nuclear to cytoplasmic ratio. A notable exception to this rule is the very high n/c ratio that is seen with lymphocytes.

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