Utility of Oil Immersion Lens in Evaluation of Malignancy

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Professor, Consultant Pathologist, American Board Certified Pathologist, Fellow College of American Pathologists. Areas of interest Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology, Cytology, Cancer, Ethics, Islam, Humanity

Utility of Oil Immersion Lens in Evaluation of Malignancy

Saima Aamir, Anwar ul Haque, Mudassira
Department of Pathology, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad.

Introduction: Oil immersion objective is not routinely used in histopathology and very rarely in cytopathology. We, on the other hand are routinely using the technique in our department on almost all types of lesions in histopathology and cytopathology.
Objective: To determine the extra advantages of examining histopathology sections at 1000X magnification.
Study Design: It was a comparative study.
Settings: This study was carried out in department of pathology, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad.
Duration of Study: June 2005 to Dec 2005.
Material & Methods: Thirty diagnosed cases of gastric and colorectal adenocarcinomas were examined first under high power lens (400X) and then oil immersion lens using xylene (as an alternative for oil) for various parameters such as tumor architecture, cytoplasmic and nuclear features. The difference in various parameters was scored from 0-2.
Results: The results revealed that nuclear features such as membrane breaks, nuclear pinching, grooving and chromatin patterns were significantly better appreciated on oil immersion lens compared to high power objective.
However no significant difference was observed in tumor architecture and cytoplasmic features.
Conclusion: Oil immersion lens with a magnification of 1000 may be useful in difficult cases to ascertain about malignancy which is mostly based on nuclear features.
Key words: Oil immersion lens, xylene, high power objective


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