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neuroblastoma

Pronunciation: nu'ro-blas-to'ma

Definition: A malignant neoplasm characterized by immature, only slightly differentiated nerve cells of embryonic type, neuroblasts; typical cells are relatively small (10–15 mcm in diameter) with disproportionately large, darkly staining, vesicular nuclei and scant, palely acidophilic cytoplasm; they may be arranged in sheets, irregular clumps, or cordlike groups, as well as occurring individually and in pseudorosettes (with nuclei arranged peripherally about the centrally directed cytoplasmic processes); ordinarily, the stroma is sparse, and foci of necrosis and hemorrhage are not unusual. Neuroblastomas occur frequently in infants and children in the mediastinal and retroperitoneal regions (approximately 30% associated with the adrenal glands); widespread metastases to the liver, lungs, lymph nodes, cranial cavity, and skeleton are very common.

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.

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