Multinucleation is an objective feature useful in the diagnosis of pleomorphic lobular carcinoma in situ

Luis Z. Blanco, Tiffany A. Thurow, Aparna Mahajan, Barbara Susnik, Irene Helenowski, Joan S. Chmiel, Megan E. Sullivan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Objectives: Bi- and multinucleated (B/M) cells are present in a variety of tumors. We evaluated lobular carcinoma in situ (classic and pleomorphic types) and ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) to determine if this objective morphologic feature aids the differential diagnosis. Methods: The number of B/M cells was recorded in pleomorphic lobular carcinoma in situ (PLCIS) (n = 20), classic lobular carcinoma in situ (CLCIS) (n = 26), and DCIS (n = 37). Results: Binucleated cells were significantly more frequent in PLCIS (100%) vs DCIS (43%; P <.0001) and CLCIS (54%; P =.0004). Multinucleated cells were present in 25% of PLCIS cases and 8% of DCIS cases, and they were absent in CLCIS. The quantity of B/M per high-power field (hpf) was less in DCIS (mean, 1.1) and CLCIS (mean, 2.5) compared with PLCIS (mean, 5.8). Thirty-five percent of PLCIS cases had more than five B/M per hpf. Conclusions: Binucleated cells are significantly more frequent in PLCIS vs CLCIS and DCIS. Multinucleated cells were never identified in CLCIS. PLCIS should be considered as a diagnosis when B/M is noted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)722-726
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of clinical pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2015



  • Binucleation
  • Ductal carcinoma in situ
  • Lobular carcinoma in situ
  • Multinucleation
  • Pleomorphic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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