By light microscopy, this type of cell has abundant granular pink cytoplasm and a small central nucleus. The cytoplasm is filled with proteinaceous, pink-staining organelles. What are these organelles? Answer

Note the electron-dense, vacuolated lysosome at the lower right.

Photo provided by Dr. Ben Yen

Return to histologic differential diagnosis.

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Answer: Mitochondria. Oncocytic change is a non-specific reaction that occurs in normal structures and tumors. It may be found in normal bronchial glands and ducts of older individuals. Several tumors of the lung such as bronchial carcinoids and mucoepidermoid carcinomas may show oncocytic change within tumor cells. The significance of the large numbers of mitochondria is not known.