decoy cells

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  • Clinical

    • polyomavirus like the JC and BK virus (part of the papovavirus family)
    • benign in normal people
    • organ failure in immunocompromised, esp in renal transplant
  • Cytology

    • called decoy cells because resemble malignancy
    • single cells
    • large nuclei, thick rim of nuclear membrane, completely filled with inclusion
    • nuclei is big, but contour is smooth
  • Ddx

    • CMV: nuclear inclusion has a halo around it
    • malignancy: nuclei is irregular, cells form clusters
    • degenerated malignant cell
    • degenerated benign cell