Desmoplastic melanoma is a variant of malignant melanoma that can range in appearance from sarcomatoid to scar-like. Cytomorphology of desmoplastic melanoma has been previously described on conventional smears; however, to our knowledge, detailed cytomorphology on ThinPrep has so far not been described. Herein, we describe the cytomorphology of two cases of desmoplastic melanoma on fine needle aspiration processed as ThinPrep slides and compare it to that seen on conventional smears. Pertinent immunocytochemical stains, performed on ThinPrep slides are also discussed.
The first case is a woman with a history of desmoplastic melanoma of the scalp with previous local recurrences and lymph node metastasis with a new submandibular mass. The second case is a man with a previously resected desmoplastic melanoma with his first local recurrence. Conventional smears, including air-dried Diff-Quik-stained and alcohol-fixed Papanicolaou-stained smears, demonstrated aggregates of pleomorphic spindle cells admixed with fibrous stroma and single spindle cells. In both cases, nuclei were elongated and plump with irregular nuclear contours, deep grooves, and folds. Chromatin was dark and coarse with either inconspicuous or multiple prominent nucleoli. Cytoplasm was located at the nuclear poles and was fine, wispy, and delicate. The background was clean with no evidence of necrosis or melanin pigment. Papanicolaou-stained ThinPrep slides were prepared from needle rinses and demonstrated excellent correlation of nuclear and cytoplasmic detail of single spindle cells to that seen on conventional smears with the exception of only slight decrease in nuclear size; however, nuclear and cytoplasmic detail of spindle cells embedded in stroma was markedly attenuated. Confirmatory immunostain for S-100 protein in both cases was performed on ThinPrep slides demonstrating crisp cytoplasmic staining in the spindle cells.
The cytomorphology of desmoplastic melanoma shows excellent correlation between cytomorphology of single spindle cells on conventional smears and on ThinPrep slides. The major difference noted on ThinPrep slides was attenuated nuclear and cytoplasmic detail of spindle cells embedded in fibrous stoma.