Nuclear pleomorphism

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Extreme nuclear pleomorphism in a case of glioblastoma.
Severe nuclear pleomorphism is a case of pleomorphic undifferentiated sarcoma. H&E stain.
Some forms of cancer have no or minimal nuclear pleomorphism; mucinous adenocarcinoma of the lung (left of image) looks similar to (benign) gastric foveolar epithelium and in this image is juxtaposed with benign ciliated epithelium (right of image). H&E stain.

Nuclear pleomorphism is a common finding in malignant lesions. Anisonucleosis is often used as a synonym for nuclear pleomorphism; iso- means equal or identical,[1] and an- means not.[2]


Nuclear pleomorphism is the marked variation of:[3]

  1. Nuclear size.
  2. Nuclear shape.
  3. Nuclear staining (especially with hyperchromasia).

Memory device 3 S: size, shape, staining.


See also


  1. URL: Accessed on: 26 September 2013.
  2. URL: Accessed on: 26 September 2013.
  3. Rashid, F.; Ul Haque, A. (Dec 2011). "Frequencies of different nuclear morphological features in prostate adenocarcinoma.". Ann Diagn Pathol 15 (6): 414-21. doi:10.1016/j.anndiagpath.2011.06.002. PMID 21849255.