Descriptive Lexicon: Shape and Texture

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Descriptive Lexicon: Shape and Texture

Malignant processes (but also many inflammatory processes) usually have infiltrative borders and irregular or difficult to define shapes whereas lesions with well-defined shapes and borders are less likely to be malignant. Tumors usually efface the underlying tissue planes and textures.
Below is a table of pathologic processes and their associated shapes or textures.
Pathologic ProcessShape or Texture
Fibroadenoma, mixed tumor, hamartomaWell-circumscribed or pushing borders
Invasive carcinomas, surgical scarsIrregular or spiculated borders
Cutaneous melanomaJagged or notched borders
Mucosal shape of colon carcinomaSerpiginous borders (winding, snake-like)
LipomaSmoothly lobulated
Bone in degenerative joint diseaseBosselated (rounded protuberances)
Cutaneous condylomaVerrucous (wart-like)
Bladder tumors, papillary renal cell carcinomaPapillary
Villous adenoma of the colonVillous (slender projections)
Exposed polished bone surface after loss of cartilage in degenerative joint diseaseEburnated (like ivory)
Normal gallbladder mucosaVelvety
Some colon polyps, acrochordonPedunculated (with a stalk)
Some colon polypsSessile (broad-based)
Lentigo, café-au-lait spotMacule (flat lesion less than 5 mm)
VitiligoPatch (flat lesion greater than 5 mm)
MolePapule (raised flat topped lesion less than 5 mm)
MelanomaNodule (raised lesion greater than 5 mm)
Psoriasis, seborrheic keratosisPlaque (raised flat topped lesion greater than 5 mm)
Papillary renal cell carcinoma, necrotic tumorsFriable (soft and falling apart or crumbly)
Carcinoma invading through skinExcrescence (an irregular outgrowth)
The normal end of the fallopian tubeFimbriated (fringe-like)
A papilloma in a ductExophytic (projecting out from a surface)
Inverted papillomaEndophytic (projecting within a space)
Pleural plaqueScabrous (covered with small projections and rough to the touch)
Fetus papyraceous – a fetus found within the placental membranes of a twinPapyraceous (like parchment or paper)
(Recommended by Lester S. in Manual of Surgical Pathology. Ebook: Elsevier Health Sciences; 2010.)

Shape and texture