Cytologic features of solid and cystic tumor of the pancreas

Acta Cytol. Mar-Apr 1997;41(2):443-9. doi: 10.1159/000332537.


Objective: To describe the cytologic features of solid and cystic tumor of the pancreas.

Study design: Cytologic features of four cases of solid and cystic tumor of the pancreas (SCT) were reported and compared with those of three cases of islet cell tumor of the pancreas.

Results: Aspiration and imprint cytology of the tumor cells obtained from three cases of SCT showed papillary structures or rosette formations in part and demonstrated uniformly round to oval nuclei that contained finely granular chromatin, a fairly distinct nucleolus and a scant to moderate amount of granular or vesicular cytoplasm. Another case of SCT consisted of multinucleated giant cells with coherent chromatin as well as mononuclear cells with nuclear grooves. Islet cell tumor consisted mainly of clustered or isolated uniform mononuclear cells with rosette formations but without a papillary structure and occasional multinucleated giant cells in all cases. The nuclei of islet cell tumors had peculiar, fine chromatin aggregates with a "salt-and-pepper" appearance and slightly enlarged nucleoli.

Conclusion: SCT is cytologically distinguishable from islet cell tumor in spite of having many cytologic features in common with it.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma, Islet Cell / pathology*
  • Adenoma, Islet Cell / ultrastructure
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Cell Nucleus / pathology
  • Cell Nucleus / ultrastructure
  • Chromatin / pathology
  • Female
  • Giant Cells / pathology
  • Giant Cells / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / pathology*
  • Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial / ultrastructure
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / ultrastructure


  • Chromatin