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Pathology’s top ten one liners—and what they really mean
  1. T Rajalakshmi
  1. St John’s Medical College, 428, 7th Cross, 1st Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore 560 011, India; rajtiru{at}

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    1. Enucleated specimen of right eye, inadequate for opinion: excise the left eye, too.

    2. Small round cell tumour, advised immunohistochemistry for a definite diagnosis: I don’t know what the hell it is.

    3. Compatible with lichen planus: doesn’t look like it. But if you insist, I don’t resist.

    4. Florid reactive hyperplasia, lymph node; advised close clinical follow up: boss, wait till it turns into a full blown lymphoma, then I’ll type it.

    5. Borderline serous cystadenoma, ovary, with focal microinvasion: phew, this’ll save my skin, if the patient throws a met 10 years later!

    6. Early ill formed epithelioid granulomas with occasional acid fast bacilli: I have an excellent imagination!

    7. Special stains for fungi, bacteria and parasites are not contributory: I didn’t look hard enough.

    8. Metastatic poorly differentiated neoplasm, cerebellum, with possibilities of carcinoma, sarcoma, melanoma, lymphoma . . .: looking for the primary is your job; anyway, how does it matter now?

    9. Appendix showing lymphoid hyperplasia: you knocked off a perfectly normal one.

    10. Poorly preserved biopsies from multiple sites, unsuitable for definite opinion: only a necropsy can solve the issue!