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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 often have nucleoli (indicated by the blue arrows in the image). They can also be phagocytic, phagocytizing (cannibalizing) other malignant cells, as indicated by the red arrow in the image on the right.
The characteristics included on this and the previous two pages do not apply to all malignant cells that may be present in a CSF sample. For this reason, CSF smears containing abnormal or suspicious cells must be reviewed by the pathologist and presumptive malignant cells correlated with cytology findings.