Cytologic features

Topic Completed: 1 June 2011

Minor changes: 12 March 2020

Copyright: 2006-2020, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed search: cervix repair [title]

Farnaz Hasteh, M.D.
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Cite this page: Hasteh F. Repair. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/cervixcytologyrepair.html. Accessed September 30th, 2020.
Definition / general
  • When mucosa is denuded or damaged, the underlying or peripheral epithelial cells rapidly proliferate with increased protein synthesis to fill the defect; these cells have cytologic features described below, which may mimic malignancy
Clinical features
  • Differentiating repair from dysplasia is very important
Cytology description
  • Cohesive monolayers of cells with well defined or indistinct borders, abundant cytoplasm (usually blue but no organgophilia / keratinization), uniform enlarged nuclei, finely granular and evenly distributed chromatin; nuclei may be hypo to hyperchromatic but almost all have prominent round nucleoli and normal N/C ratio
  • Cells still keep their order and do not overlap although they may fold on themselves, giving the impression of a syncytium
  • Almost all cases have a chronic inflammatory infiltrate
  • May see multi nucleation
  • Normal mitotic figures may be seen
  • Single cells are rare
  • If atypia present, must include diagnosis of ASCUS in cytology report, although this has been questioned (Diagn Cytopathol 2005;33:214)
  • In liquid based cytology, repair groups are more rounded because of preparation
Cytology images

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Ectocervix: inflammatory background

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Inflammatory and bloody exocervical smear

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Clear chromatin and nucleoli

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Reactive 20x

Positive stains
Negative stains
Differential diagnosis
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