Benign cells / nonneoplastic lesions
Parabasal cells

Topic Completed: 1 December 2010

Minor changes: 12 March 2020

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

PubMed search: Paranasal cells [title]

Farnaz Hasteh, M.D.
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Cite this page: Hasteh F. Parabasal cells. PathologyOutlines.com website. https://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/cervixcytologyparabasalcells.html. Accessed May 27th, 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

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Parabasal cells

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