The Significance of Intraluminal Crystalloids in Benign Prostatic Glands on Needle Biopsy

Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
American Journal of Surgical Pathology (Impact Factor: 5.15). 07/1997; 21(6):725-8. DOI: 10.1097/00000478-199706000-00014
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Based on data from autopsy, radical prostatectomy, and cystoprostatectomy specimens, it has been suggested that the finding of intraluminal crystalloids in benign glands on needle biopsy may indicate a concurrent carcinoma; therefore, repeat biopsy is recommended. We studied data from 56 consecutive needle biopsies from the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Dianon Systems in which the diagnosis of intraluminal crystalloids in benign glands was rendered and follow-up data were subsequently obtained. Cases in which crystalloids were present in glands suspicious for cancer, in glands of high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia, or in adenosis were excluded from the study. Follow-up data included repeat biopsy results and serum prostatic specific antigen levels. Of the 56 men, 31 (55%) had repeat biopsy (two underwent transurethral resection of the prostate [TURP]); the remaining men were either noncompliant or had medical conditions precluding subsequent biopsy. Of the 31 men who underwent repeat biopsies, 23 (74%) had benign diagnoses, one (3%) had high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia, and seven (23%) had adenocarcinoma. There was no difference in serum prostate-specific antigen values between those with and without cancer on repeat biopsy. In a control population of men with a benign first biopsy not showing crystalloids, the incidence of cancer on repeat biopsy was 16.2%, which was not statistically significantly different from the incidence found in our study group. We conclude that men with prostate biopsy results showing benign glands with crystalloids are at no significantly higher risk of having cancer on repeat biopsy than if crystalloids were not present.

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    • "Christian et al. (2005) found crystalloids in needle biopsy specimens of 42% of such cancers. Although some studies have shown no association (Henneberry et al., 1997; Hu et al., 1998) and it is clear that the crystalloids also occur in normal prostate tissue (Hu et al., 1998), detection of them in light microscopic sections is considered helpful in the diagnosis of prostatic cancer, particularly when the tissue is artificially distorted or when the tumor is so well-differentiated that it can be confused with a benign lesion (Ro et al., 1986). The crystalloids have various geometries: rectangular, hexagonal, triangular and rod-like. "
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    ABSTRACT: Intraluminal prostatic crystalloids (IPC) are more common in prostate cancer acini than in benign acini. This study was undertaken to evaluate the hypothesis that crystalloids seen in a benign biopsy may indicate an increased risk of a concomitant prostatic carcinoma. A total of 600 patients underwent more than one prostate biopsy. For 394 patients the results of the biopsy were either negative or positive for prostate cancer. After exclusion of patients whose biopsy results were considered negative but coded as high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia or were suspicious for cancer or whose slides were unavailable for review, 331 patients remained. Biopsy results for these patients were evaluated for the presence of IPC. Also, 18 completely-embedded benign prostates from cystoprostatectomy specimens from patients with bladder cancer were evaluated for the presence of IPC. Seven hundred twenty-five biopsy specimens were reviewed; 51 (7%) contained crystalloids. Thirty-two of 634 (5%) benign biopsy specimens and 19 of 91 (21%) prostatic carcinoma biopsy specimens contained crystalloids. Sixteen of 331 patients (5%) had crystalloids in the initial benign biopsy specimen; 6 patients subsequently were determined to have carcinoma (38%), and 10 continued to have negative results (62%). Three hundred fifteen initial benign biopsies did not show crystalloids; 83 (26%) patients were subsequently diagnosed as having prostatic carcinoma (p = 0.238, Fisher's Exact Test, chi-square test). The IPC were found in 5 of 18 cystoprostatectomy prostates (28%). In this study, the presence of IPC on the initial biopsy specimens was not a significant risk factor for a subsequent diagnosis of prostate cancer. The IPC were not uncommon in prostates without cancer.
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