Morphologic patterns

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The article deals with morphologic patterns in pathology. It is focused on light microscopy.

Histomorphology redirects here.

The big table of morphology

Name of pattern Meaning DDx (incomplete/abbrev. list) Image
Hobnail basement membrane area < area exposed to luminal surface angiosarcoma, clear cell carcinoma
Angiosarcoma - very high mag. (WC/Nephron)
Storiform spiral appearance or cartwhell pattern[1] solitary fibrous tumour, DFSP, dermatofibroma, UPS
DFSP - very high mag. (WC/Nephron)
Fascicular the long axis of the (spindle) cells are perpendicular to one another in adjacent bundles of cells leiomyoma, leiomyosarcoma
Leiomyosarcoma - very high mag. (WC/Nephron)
Plexiform web-like formation[2] plexiform neurofibroma, MPNST, plexiform lesion of pulmonary hypertension plexiform lesion of Pulm. HTn (
Cribriform pierced with small holes[3] cribriform DCIS, cribriform HGPIN, cribriforming in a tubular adenoma with high-grade dysplasia, endometrioid endometrial carcinoma
Cribriform architecure (ADH) - very high mag. (WC/Nephron)
Solid or Sheeting no architecture - back-to-back cells with no pattern apparent / no spaces between cells solid DCIS, poorly-differentiated malignancy (carcinoma, sarcoma, lymphoma)
Sheeting in a Merkel cell carcinoma - high mag. (WC/Nephron)
Micropapillary nipple like projections without a fibrovascular core (papillary = nipple-like[4]) micropapillary DCIS, micropapillary HGPIN
Micropapillary carcinoma. (WC)
Papillary nipple-like projection with a fibrovascular core papillary thyroid carcinoma
Papillary RCC - high mag. (WC/Nephron)
Flat board-like, does not have a projection above the surface flat DCIS flat DCIS 1 (,[5] flat DCIS 2 ([5]
Herring bone like herring bone (technique) for climbing a hill in cross country skiing; books on a shelf, where they have partially fallen over -- on the one shelf to the left and the one below to the right fibrosarcoma, synovial sarcoma, MPNST
MPNST - high mag.(WC/Nephron)
Trabecular or cords trabecula = little beam[6]; quasi-linear arrangement of cells normal liver lobule, Sertoli cell tumour
PTC tall cell variant - high mag. (WC/Nephron)
Nested (nesting) islands of cells with a circular outline neuroendocrine tumours
Neuroendocrine tumour - low mag. (WC/Nephron)
Biphasic / multiple patterns multiple patterns or cell types; e.g. spindle cells and epithelioid cells synovial sarcoma, malignant melanoma, pleomorphic adenoma, angiomyolipoma, chondroid syringoma
DSRCT - high mag. (WC/Nephron)


Hobnail pattern

See also


  1. Storiform. URL: Accessed on: April 24, 2009.
  2. URL: Accessed on: March 9, 2010.
  3. URL: Accessed on: 8 August 2011.
  4. URL: Accessed on: 8 August 2011.
  5. 5.0 5.1 URL: Accessed on: 8 August 2011.
  6. URL: Accessed on: 26 December 2010.