• nodular histiocytic hyperplasia;
  • pleura diseases;
  • cytology


So-called “nodular histiocytic hyperplasia” (NHH) is a benign histiocytic lesion caused by mechanical irritation, inflammation, and tumor. Frequently, it has been confused with mesothelial lesions and other malignant neoplasms. The diagnostic clue is proliferating cells in the lesion showing diffuse, strong immunoreactivity against the histiocytic marker, CD68. Recently, we encountered a case of so-called NHH of the pleura and confused it with various malignant neoplasms on histologic examination. An 80-yr-old Korean female presented with ascites, pleural effusions, and nodules on the pleural base. Both ascites and pleural effusion tapping smears displayed moderate cellularity, vaguely nodular cellular aggregates mainly composed of mononuclear cells with bland morphology, entrapped mesothelial cells, and background lymphocytes. Pleural biopsy demonstrated vaguely nodular, compact cellular aggregates of reactive histiocytes which were immunoreactive against CD68. Based on our case, cytologic examination as well as immunohistochemical study should be stressed in the case of so-called NHH. They can provide us more credible morphologic clues to reach a more accurate diagnosis than histologic examination alone, and we can avoid invasive procedures or unnecessary therapies to patients. To our best knowledge, this is the first report describing the cytologic features of so-called NHH in the English-language literature. Diagn. Cytopathol. 24:256–259, 2001. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.