Normal cells

Normal cells

Fine needle aspiration of normal pancreas yield a combination of benign acinar and ductal epithelial cells.

Benign acinar epithelium – cytologic features

  • Single cells or acini
  • Eccentrically placed, round nuclei
  • Evenly distributed, finely granular chromatin
  • Incospicuous nucleoli
  • Abundant granular cytoplasm
  • Indistinct cell borders

Benign ductal epithelium – cytologic features

  • Flat, cohesive ‘honeycomb’ sheets (few single cells)
  • Round to oval nuclei
  • Evenly distributed, finely granular chromatin
  • Even nuclear spacing
  • Well-defined cytoplasmic borders
  • No nuclear crowding or overlapping

Goblet cells may be present in samples from the main pancreatic duct. Islet cells are rarely identified in aspirate specimens due to their relative paucity and the fragile nature of their cytoplasm. Mesothelial cells, hepatocytes, renal tubular cells and gastrointestinal epithelial cells can occasionally be found in the specimens; they must not be mistaken for epithelial neoplasms of the pancreas.

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