The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Body Fluid Differential Tutorial. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Retinoblastoma in Cerebrospinal Fluid

Retinoblastoma is a tumor arising from retinal tissues of the eye. The condition can be inherited or spontaneous; the inherited form is associated with a mutation in the Rb1 gene.

Retinoblastoma is known to spread into the optic nerve and CSF. This image shows a retinoblastoma tumor clump. Notice the smaller size of the tumor cells. They are similar in appearance to acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL): L1.

Notice the clustering of these cells, which form a three-dimensional aggregate on the cytospin. While an L1 ALL might have similar N/C ratios with similar chromatin and cytoplasmic characteristics, L1 ALL will typically show a liquid distribution pattern on the cytospin with a more even distribution and without clumping.