Journal of Cytology

LETTER TO EDITOR
Year
: 2014  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 179--180

Fine-needle aspiration cytology of recurrent Merkel cell carcinoma of eye-brow


Anju Khairwa1, Pranab Dey1, Amanjit Bal2,  
1 Department of Cytopathology and Gynecological Pathology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Pathology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Pranab Dey
Department of Cytopathology and Gynecological Pathology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh
India




How to cite this article:
Khairwa A, Dey P, Bal A. Fine-needle aspiration cytology of recurrent Merkel cell carcinoma of eye-brow.J Cytol 2014;31:179-180


How to cite this URL:
Khairwa A, Dey P, Bal A. Fine-needle aspiration cytology of recurrent Merkel cell carcinoma of eye-brow. J Cytol [serial online] 2014 [cited 2020 Aug 12 ];31:179-180
Available from: http://www.jcytol.org/text.asp?2014/31/3/179/145666


Full Text

Sir,

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare and highly aggressive tumor of the skin. It is commonly seen in the head-neck region and is rarely encountered in lower limbs and upper extremities, within the oral cavity and the vulva. [1],[2],[3],[4],[5] MCC is an aggressive neuroendocrine tumor of the skin that develops rapidly within weeks to months on chronic sun exposed skin. MCC presents as skin-colored, red or violaceous, firm and nontender nodule with a smooth and shiny surface. [1] Ulceration of the tumor is occasionally seen in advanced cases. [1] MCC has a high propensity for regional and distant metastases, and it often spreads to the draining nodes, with frequent metastatic dissemination to the different organs of the body. [4] In this present paper, we are describing the fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC) of a case of recurrent MCC of the eyebrow.

The 60-year-old man presented to us with 2 month history of a painless, nontender swelling on the right temporal region near the outer canthus of right eye. Physical examination showed a tumor measuring 3.0 cm × 2.0 cm × 1.6 cm swelling in the right temporal region near the right lateral part of eye. The patient was operated for similar swelling 2 months back, which was reported as MCC on histopathology. FNAC smears showed discrete small round cells. The individual cells were small-to-medium in size with uniform, round-to-oval nuclei and scanty cytoplasm [Figure 1]a. Nuclei showed fine chromatin and small inconspicuous nucleoli [Figure 1]b. Occasional nuclear molding was also seen. The cytological diagnosis of recurrent MCC was suggested. Previous histopathology of the tumor was also reviewed along with cytology smear and both showed similar morphology [Figure 1]c. The tumor cells were positive for chromogranin [Figure 1]d and cytokeratin.{Figure 1}

Merkel cell carcinoma is a rare form of neuroendocrine carcinoma that originates from the neural crest cells and is found in the skin and parts of the mucosa that are derived from the ectoderm. There are only a few studies that demonstrated recurrence of MCC diagnosed by FNAC. [6],[7] Discrete round cell population with monomorphic nuclei in a subcutaneous nodule should raise the suspicion of MCC. Metastatic small cell carcinoma is a close differential diagnosis in such cases and immunocytochemistry is needed to differentiate these two entities. MCC is positive for chromogranin and CK20, [8] whereas, small cell carcinoma is negative for CK20. On FNAC smear, MCC also simulates non Hodgkin lymphoma. However, the absence of lymphoglandular body excludes the possibility of lymphoma.

In this brief report we presented an uncommon case of MCC. Discrete small round cells with absence of lymphoglandular bodies in subcutaneous swelling should always raise suspicion of MCC.

References

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