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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Cerebrospinal Fluid. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Malignant Cells, continued

Malignant cells are often found in clumps and cells may have more than one nucleus due to their erratic mitotic patterns. All of the following characteristics of malignant cells can be observed in the image on the right from a Wright-stained smear of CSF:
  • Giant cells
  • Multinucleation
  • Cellular crowding
  • Irregular nuclear shapes
  • High nuclear to cytoplasmic ratio (N/C ratio)
  • Vacuolation (sometimes dramatic) that may be seen in both the cytoplasm and the nucleus