Cervix - Cytology
Benign cells / nonneoplastic lesions
Parabasal cells

Topic Completed: 1 December 2010

Revised: 23 December 2019

Revised: 21 December 2018, last major update December 2010

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

PubMed search: Paranasal cells [title]

Farnaz Hasteh, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 1,683
Page views in 2020 to date: 140
Cite this page: Hasteh F. Parabasal cells. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/cervixcytologyparabasalcells.html. Accessed January 25th, 2020.
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:
Missing Image

Parabasal cells

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