The cell indicated by the arrow is a plasma cell. The most notable features of a plasma cell are its eccentric nucleus, basophilic cytoplasm, and a large, light-staining area representing the Golgi apparatus adjacent to the nucleus. The nucleus usually takes up one fourth to one half of the total cell area. The heavy nuclear chromatin resembles that of a lymphocyte. The blue cytoplasm generally appears spongy and may contain one or two large vacuoles. Other cells that may have a basophilic cytoplasm like the plasma cell are early nucleated red blood cells, prorubricytes (E2), one of which can be seen to the left of the plasma cell, and young lymphocytes. Plasma cells are increased in the bone marrow in multiple myeloma and other plasma cell dyscrasias such as monoclonal gammopathies and Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia, liver disease, and infections. They may be moderately increased in lymphoma and carcinoma.
Course Section: 06. Microscopic Examination of the Bone Marrow
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