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Large platelet aggregates in endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration of the pancreas and peripancreatic region: A clue for the diagnosis of intrapancreatic or accessory spleen


Correspondence to: Stefan E. Pambuccian, M.D., Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, C422 Mayo MMC 76, 420 Delaware Street SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA. E-mail:


Intrapancreatic and intraabdominal accessory spleens (IPIASs) are rarely encountered in endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) biopsies. However, as incidentally discovered IPIAS can mimic a benign or malignant pancreatic neoplasm on imaging studies, a definitive diagnosis made by EUS-FNA can avert an unnecessary surgical intervention or additional radiologic follow-up. We report five cases of intrapancreatic splenules and one case of accessory spleen (AS) in which a definitive diagnosis was made on EUS-FNA. Previously recognized FNA cytomorphologic features of splenic tissue, including ASs and splenosis, are endothelial cells and polymorphous lymphocytes admixed with neutrophils, eosinophils, plasma cells, histiocytes, and lymphoglandular bodies. We describe the additional finding of abundant large platelet aggregates as another distinguishing feature of splenic tissue on FNA. In all six cases, large platelet aggregates were identified along with polymorphous lymphoid cells, lymphoglandular bodies, loose aggregates of endothelial cells and scattered or aggregated bland spindle cells. A review of 10 consecutive cases of EUS-FNA-sampled benign intraabdominal lymph nodes showed that the presence of large platelet aggregates, three-dimensional aggregates of lymphoid cells and of bland slender spindle cells and the absence of follicular germinal cell components (tingible body macrophages and lymphohistiocytic aggregates) are useful in differentiating IPIASs from reactive lymph nodes. Immunoperoxidase stains were useful to confirm a suspected IPIASs by showing CD31-positive acellular flocculent material, consistent with large platelet aggregates and a rich CD8-positive endothelial cell network between CD45-positive lymphoid cells and CD68-positive histiocytes in all six cases. Diagn. Cytopathol. 2013;41:661–672. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.