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Burkitt Lymphoma

This image is a peritoneal fluid from a patient with stage IV Burkitt lymphoma. While this smear is more cellular than is ideal for optimum evaluation of morphology, it is still possible to recognize the characteristic morphology of the lymphoma cells present.

The Burkitt cells are as large or larger than the few neutrophils present and somewhat resemble other types of lymphoblasts. However, they have coarse dense chromatin with very basophilic and markedly vacuolated cytoplasm.

This cytospin demonstrates the typical cytoplasmic vacuolation of Burkitt lymphoma in which the vacuoles break through the background of dense chromatin and intensely basophilic cytoplasm.