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Cervix-Cytology

Normal cells / non-neoplastic findings

Parabasal cells


Reviewer: Farnaz Hasteh, M.D., UCSD Medical Center (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 10 December 2010, last major update December 2010
Copyright: (c) 2006-2010, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

Definition
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● Associated with atrophy, post-partum or prolonged use of depot-medroxyprogesterone acetate (Cancer 1998;84:328, Diagn Cytopathol 2006;34:676)

Etiology
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● Atrophic conditions (postmenopausal, childhood, postpartum and lactational)
● Also starvation, anorexia nervosa, decreased pituitary gonadotropins, gonadal dysgenesis

Clinical features
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● Atrophic muscoa is thin and unprotected, leading to frequent inflammation and bleeding

Cytology description
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● 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
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Parabasal cells

Positive stains
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● p63 (Adv Anat Pathol 2009;16:316)
● Ki-67 (may be positive in basal and parabasal cells but negative in atrophy, Cytopathology 1999;10:369)

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

Differential diagnosis
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● Squamous metaplasia
● HSIL
● Histiocytes
● Endometrial cells

End of Cervix-cytology > Normal cells / non-neoplastic findings > Parabasal cells


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