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The small round blue cell tumors of sinonasal tract: Pathologists grey zone

 Department of Pathology, IMS and SUM Hospital, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Prateek Das,
Department of Pathology, IMS and SUM Hospital, Bhubaneswar - 751 003, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmau.jmau_70_21

Background: One of the most challenging diagnostic categories in the sinonasal tract includes small-blue-round-cell tumors. These are malignant tumors which show many overlapping histomorphology and immunohistochemistry (IHC) findings. Limited, small biopsy of these not completely excisable tumors adds to the diagnostic confusion. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was done for 2 years (January 2018–December 2020) in a tertiary care institute, which included 70 cases of tumors of which 49 cases were malignant. All paraffin-embedded blocks were subjected to hematoxylin and eosin stain and IHC followed by molecular study wherever needed. Results: Of the total cases, small-blue-round-cell tumor constituted the major category comprising 20 rare and interesting cases which included sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma (4 cases), malignant lymphoma (2 cases of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and 2 cases of extranodal natural killer/T-cell lymphoma), rhabdomyosarcoma (2 cases), olfactory neuroblastoma (2 cases), malignant melanoma (2 cases), plasmacytoma (2 cases), atypical Ewing's sarcoma (EWS) (1 case), EWS (1 case), nuclear protein in testis (NUT) carcinoma (1 case), and small-cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (1 case). Conclusion: Tumors of the sinonasal tract are very diverse, more so in small-round-cell tumor which present with a undifferentiated morphology. Thus, accurate diagnosis needs clinicoradiological parameters and special ancillary techniques such as IHC and molecular study in addition to histopathology for early diagnosis and therapy to prevent significant morbidity and mortality caused in these tumors.

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