Cervix - Cytology
Benign cells / nonneoplastic lesions
Parabasal cells

Author: Farnaz Hasteh, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 18 May 2017, last major update December 2010

Copyright: (c) 2006-2017, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed search: Paranasal cells [title]

Cite this page: Parabasal cells. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/cervixcytologyparabasalcells.html. Accessed October 16th, 2018.
Definition / general
  • Atrophic conditions (postmenopausal, childhood, postpartum and lactational)
  • Also starvation, anorexia nervosa, decreased pituitary gonadotropins, gonadal dysgenesis
Clinical features
  • Atrophic muscoa is thin and unprotected, leading to frequent inflammation and bleeding
Cytology description
  • Single round / oval cells or aggregates with indistinct cell borders (syncytia)
  • Cytoplasm is dense, basophilic or gray
  • Nucleus is round to oval with evenly distributed chromatin and inconspicuous nucleoli
  • Nuclear size is slightly larger than a red blood cell
  • May see naked nuclei
  • Higher N/C ratio and smaller size than intermediate cells
  • Mumified parabasal cells are called "blue blobs," which are seen with atrophy
Cytology images

Images hosted on other servers:

Parabasal cells

Positive stains
Negative stains
  • p16 (negative in parabasal cells and also in atrophy)