Cytologic features
Tumor diathesis

Topic Completed: 1 March 2011

Minor changes: 4 August 2020

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PubMed search: cervix cytology tumor diathesis

Farnaz Hasteh, M.D.
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Cite this page: Hasteh F. Tumor diathesis. PathologyOutlines.com website. https://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/cervixcytologytumordiathesis.html. Accessed February 27th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Blood and cellular debris associated with invasive tumors
  • Tumor diathesis is associated with malignant tumor
  • Benign diathesis is associated with infections
  • Tumor diathesis
    • Due to invasive carcinoma, although in situ lesions involving endocervical glands can cause necrosis (Diagn Cytopathol 2003;28:23)
    • Keratinized and pleomorphic HSIL can also cause necrosis
  • Benign diathesis
    • Due to Trichomonas or herpes infections, severe atrophy, cervical stenosis, abscess or history of radiation therapy
Clinical features
  • Tumor diathesis is associated with invasive carcinoma; SIL or benign backgrounds are usually "clean"
  • Often not present if less than 5 mm of minimally invasive squamous cell carcinoma (Acta Cytol 1997;41:781)
  • Often not present in exophytic tumors
  • Not seen in metastatic tumors
  • For liquid based preparations (Thin Prep and Sure Prep), squamous cell carcinoma may have clinging diathesis (necrotic material at periphery of cell groups) or reduced cellularity (Diagn Cytopathol 2002; 26:1); if associated with malignant cells, it is diagnostic of malignancy
Cytology description
  • Fresh or hemolyzed blood with necrotic cellular debris in background
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