adjective Referring to something that isn’t attractive or pretty which, in medicine, is “code” for an aggressive disease or lesion.


An ugly infection is one that responds poorly to aggressive antibiotic therapy, and is more common in immunocompromised patients or those with terminal cancer. 


An ugly malignancy is characterised by brisk and often metastatic growth, fulminant clinical disease, rapid deterioration, multiorgan failure, infection, and poor response to therapy. 


Ugly usually refers to a malignant lesion with bizarre, poorly differentiated cells characterised by marked nuclear atypia, pleomorphism, florid mitotic activity, and necrosis–e.g., giant cell tumour of the lung. 

The lineage of these cells is often unclear, and may require the use of ancillary studies–e.g., IHC stains for the presence of intermediate filaments or molecular studies; ugly tumours may be so anaplastic that their origin doesn’t yield to special studies.  

VOX POPULI Not attractive

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