Cervix - Cytology
Cytopathology Competency / Milestone Assessment - The Pap Test
1. Normal Cytology

Author: Ricardo R. Lastra, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 30 May 2017, last major update January 2014

Copyright: (c) 2014-2017, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed search: Normal Cytology [title]

Cite this page: Normal cytology. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/cervixcytologycompnormal.html. Accessed October 18th, 2017.
Medical Knowledge
  1. Recognize the normal cellular and noncellular elements visible in a Pap smear
  2. Recognize normal squamous cells and their degree of squamous differentiation according to cytoplasmic and nuclear features
    • Basal cells
    • Parabasal cells
    • Intermediate cells
    • Superficial cells
  3. Recognize normal glandular cells and their potential site of origin according to cytoplasmic and nuclear features
    • Endocervical cells vs. endometrial cells
  4. Recognize the morphologic features of exodus
  5. Identify and recognize the significance of Barr bodies in normal cells
  6. Understand the concept of maturation index
  7. Identify intrinsic and extrinsic conditions and factors that result in the various maturation patterns
  8. Recognize normal bacterial flora identifiable in Pap smears
Practice Based Learning and Systems Based Practice
  1. Understand how the patient's age and time in menstrual cycle influence the findings in Pap smears
  2. Identify the representative maturation patterns according to the percent parabasal, intermediate and superficial cells present
  3. Understand the importance of clinical history and other significant conditions in the accurate interpretation of the maturation index
  4. Understand how varying hormonal status affect the presence of Barr bodies and the number thereof
  5. Recognize artifacts that might obscure cellular detail or mimic neoplasia
    • "Cornflake" artifact
    • Endocervical brush artifact
    • Cone biopsy artifact
Diagrams / tables

Images hosted on other servers:

Barr bodies

Cytology images

Images hosted on PathOut server:

Thin Prep,
postmenstrual,
by Dr. Carmen Luz, Spain

Cornflakes: by Dr. Yao-Wen Liu, Taiwan



Images hosted on other servers:


Endocervical cells

Various images

Various images - Liquid based cytology



Endometrial cells

Various images

IUD related changes


Intermediate squamous cells

Intermediate squamous cells

Navicular cells


Paranasal cells

Parabasal cells


Squamous cells (various)

Squamous cells (various)

Barr bodies

Exodus (menstruation)