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Korean J Cytopathol. 2004 May;15(1):45-51. Korean. Case Report.
Ryu HS , Kim MS , Ha HJ , Kim JS , Shin MS , Park S , Chung JH , Koh JS , Lee SS .
Department of Pathology, Korean Cancer Center Hospital, Korea Institute of Radiological & Medical Sciences, Seoul, Korea.

It is important to recognize the pathognomonic cytologic findings of chordoma, because of overlapping cytologic features between chordoma, chondrosarcoma, myxofibrillary ependymoma, and metastatic adenocarcinoma. We reviewed the cytomorphologic features of 5 cases of chordoma diagnosed by fine needle aspiration cytology at Korean Cancer Center Hospital from 1987 to 2003. Clinical and radiographic findings of each case were reviewed. Four males and one female (29-54 years) had tumors involving the sacrum. Pain was the presenting symptom in 4 cases. The three cases showed moderate to high cellularity. In all cases, typical physaliferous cells with or without cytoplasmic processes were noted. In two cases, the background was myxoid with single scattered cells. Cell clusters showing cord-like arrangement were occasionally seen. The single or clustered cells showed mild cellular pleomorphism with slightly increased nuclear/cytoplasmic ratio. Mitotic figures were not seen. In our review, the recognition of physaliferous cells is the most important feature to diagnose chordoma and to differentiate it from other lesions mimicking chordoma.

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