Crystalloids in salivary gland pleomorphic adenomas.
Two types of crystalloids in salivary gland pleomorphic adenomas were studied by light microscopy and electron microscopy. The first type of crystalloid, the previously described tyrosine-rich crystalloid, was identified in three (1.5%) of 205 cases. The crystalloids by light microscopy assumed a radial configuration, resulting in the characteristic petal-shaped morphology. Transmission electron microscopy revealed them to be electron-dense, lobular projections without internal structure. Scanning electron microscopy demonstrated a range of morphology from rounded and intact doughnutlike structures to aggregates of irregular, loosely cohesive plates. The crystalloids were backscatter positive by backscattered electron imaging, and by x-ray microanalysis exhibited prominent calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium peaks that were not present in the adjacent tumor tissue; these three elements may be important in the formation and structure of tyrosine-rich crystalloids. The second type of crystalloid was intraductal and birefringent and was identified in 26 (12.7%) of 205 cases. In 21 of these 26 cases the crystalloids were lost on 10% formaldehyde fixation and paraffin embedding. Histochemical stains and x-ray microanalysis did not reveal a definite chemical composition, but did suggest a predominantly organic nature.
Humphrey, PA; Ingram, P; Tucker, A; Shelburne, JD
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