Well-differentiated squamous cell carcinoma
Moderately-differentiated squamous cell carcinoma
Poorly-differentiated squamous cell carcinoma
“Differentiation” is a term used to describe the appearance of malignant tumors. It refers to the extent to which a tumor resembles its tissue of origin. Well-differentiated tumors resemble closely their tissue of origin, whereas poorly-differentiated tumors barely resemble their tissue of origin.
Check out the images above. The well-differentiated squamous cell carcinoma cells (top image, right side) look a lot like the adjacent benign squamous epithelium. They are large, eosinophilic, and polygonal, and they are layered in an architectural pattern that looks like squamous cell epithelium. Sometimes, well-differentiated squamous cell carcinomas will even produce keratin, which usually it appears in the center of a group of epithelial cells with a whorled appearance (there are a couple such groups on the far right side of this image, but without keratin). This type of keratin is called a “keratin pearl” because it looks like a little pink pearl surrounded by a nice group of epithelial cells.
The moderately-differenatiated squamous cell carcinoma looks less like normal squamous epithelium. The tumor cells are still in nests, and there are some larger, eosinophilic, polygonal cells that are trying to layer themselves in a squamousy way, but the overal resemblence to normal squamous epithelium is less striking. The poorly-differentiated squamous cell carcinoma has lost most of its squamous epithelial characteristics and architecture, although if you were able to look closely, you might still be able to see some intercellular bridging like you do between normal squamous cells.
The concept of differentiation is not just some arcane exercise in morphologic skills. There is a clinical correlation between the degree of differentiation of a tumor and its clinical behavior; well-differentiated tumors tend to act nicer and be less aggressive than poorly-differentiated ones.
Tagsacute leukemia acute lymphoblastic leukemia acute myeloid leukemia acute promyelocytic leukemia Add new tag anemia b cells blood smear bone marrow brain tumors carcinoma cases chronic myelofibrosis chronic myeloid leukemia chronic myeloproliferative disorders coagulation cortisol cytochemistry cytogenetics essential thrombocythemia heart hemophilia immunology infection inflammation kaplan kidney laboratory tests lymphocyte lymphocytes lymphoma macrophages neoplasia neutrophil normal photoblog polycythemia vera red blood cells red cells sickle cell anemia skin squamous cell carcinoma stains student questions t cells
- Fatima said You are a genius ,indeed
- Fatima said Wow it was awesome as always, enjoyed it
- khash said this helped me in my microbiology/immunology final exams. thank you
- Kristine said Good analogy, Ehsam.
- Kristine said Hi Janarthan- the INR/PT tests the intrinsic pathway and final common pathway (but not the extrinsic...
- Kristine said Yes! Perfect explanation I know – it seems so confusing until someone explains it to you R...
- Jack Simmons said Finally, someone has started an explanation for the difference between extrinsic and intrinsic pathw...
- dennis cruise said this is LEGEN….wait for it…DARY.its makes histo/cytopath so yummy for me.
- Kristine said You’re welcome, Michele! So glad you found some useful stuff here
- Michele Favolise said Thank you so much for sharing such a wealth of information in a great style! It is a great website,...
- Kristine said Yup, I know! I read big Robbins cover-to-cover. Now, many students don’t even buy it. I still...
- Dr. Isbah Rashid said Very informative page Full fills the antrigue-hunger Very accurately composed Thank you for such an...