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December 1976

Histologic Pseudomalignancies of the Skin

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, New York University School of Medicine, New York.

Arch Dermatol. 1976;112(12):1767-1780. doi:10.1001/archderm.1976.01630370051013

The determination of benign or malignant nature of a neoplasm is an onerous responsibility of histopathologists. Recent advances in submicroscopy, remarkable as they are, have not spared them this momentous judgment. Histopathologists are expected to be able to predict the future biologic behavior of a neoplasm on the basis of its microscopic appearance. It is too much to always expect of them, but forced as they are to make critical decisions, the following are the essential criteria they timorously employ.

A benign neoplasm typically has parenchymal cells with nuclear and cytoplasmic characteristics that are much like those of normal cells of similar histogenesis. The neoplastic cells are uniform in configuration and orderly in arrangement. There are but few mitotic figures, and they are normal in appearance. Growth of neoplastic cells is entirely expansive, without destruction of adjacent tissue or invasion of vessels.1-3

In contrast, the malignant neoplasm generally has

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