Cervix - Cytology
Benign cells / nonneoplastic lesions
Squamous cells

Topic Completed: 1 March 2011

Revised: 21 December 2018, last major update March 2011

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PubMed search: Squamous cells[title] cervix

Farnaz Hasteh, M.D.
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Cite this page: Hasteh F. Squamous cells. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/cervixcytologysquamouscells.html. Accessed October 17th, 2019.
Definition / general
  • Either superficial, intermediate, parabasal or basal cells
  • Intermediate cells are used as a reference for assessing the presence of other cells
Clinical features
  • Basal cells are rare in Pap tests, except in severe atrophy
  • Parabasal cells are dominant in atrophic smears and are associated with Tamoxifen
  • Glycogenated parabasal cells are seen in postpartum and lactational states
  • Intermediate cells are associated with progesterone effect and pregnancy
  • Glycogenated intermediate cells or navicular cells may be seen late in the menstrual cycle and during pregnancy
  • Superficial cells: called squames if keratinized and anucleated; the most differentiated cells in a nonkeratinizing squamous mucosa; are associated with estrogen effect and midcycle peaks; may be present after menopause due to obesity, cirrhosis, inflammation, radiation, chemotherapy, digitalis or other medications
Cytology description
  • Basal cells are undifferentiated small cells
  • Parabasal cells have squamous differentiation with a moderate amount of cytoplasm
  • Intermediate cells are approximately the size of parabasal or superficial cells; their nuclei are the size of an erythrocyte with fine chromatin
  • Superficial cells are polygonal, transparent, eosinophilic, flat / thin; nucleus is pyknotic, round / oval; are like intermediate cells but with pyknotic and smaller nuclei
Cytology images

Images hosted on other servers:

Normal squamous cells

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