Breast
Invasive breast carcinoma of no special type and variants
Osteoclastic giant cells


Topic Completed: 1 October 2012

Minor changes: 21 June 2020

Copyright: 2002-2019, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Carcinoma with osteoclastic giant cells

Monika Roychowdhury, M.D.
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Page views in 2020 to date: 1,003
Cite this page: Roychowdhury M. Osteoclastic giant cells. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/breastmalignantductalNOSosteoclastic.html. Accessed November 23rd, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Part of WHO classification
  • Osteoclastic giant cells are present in stroma
  • Presence of giant cells does not alter prognosis
Case reports
Gross description
  • Often brown due to vascular stroma with hemosiderin
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Giant cells are associated with vascular stroma with extravasated red blood cells and hemosiderin, also chronic inflammatory cells and fibroblasts
  • Giant cells have variable size and variable numbers of nuclei
  • Similar histologic features in nodal metastases and recurrences (Arch Pathol Lab Med 1986;110:636)
  • Carcinoma component may be any type
Microscopic (histologic) images

Images hosted on other servers:

Various images, courtesy of Semir Vranic

Whole mount


Tubular growth, vascular stroma and hemorrhage

Giant cells in stroma and intraductal spaces

Various images



Differentiated well cribriform carcinoma

Osteoclast like giant cells in close contact to tumor cells

Cytology description
Positive stains
Negative stains
Electron microscopy description
  • Osteoclasts are histiocytes
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