Inflammatory / infectious


Topic Completed: 3 February 2003

Minor changes: 18 February 2021

Copyright: 2003-2021, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed Search: Leptothrix vaginalis

John K.S.S. Philip, M.D.
Ziyan T. Salih, M.D.
Page views in 2020: 3,782
Page views in 2021 to date: 4,815
Cite this page: Philip J. Leptothrix. PathologyOutlines.com website. https://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/cervixleptothrix.html. Accessed December 3rd, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Leptothrix are long, slender, gram positive, non spore forming anaerobic organisms that may be seen in association with Trichomonas
  • Also known as Leptotrichia or Leptotrichia buccalis
  • Oral and vaginal cavities
Clinical features
Case reports
  • No treatment unless associated with a pathogen
Cytology description
  • Long, thin, segmented, filamentous structures
  • Usually nonbranching but occasionally branching may be observed
  • May form loops more frequently in conventional smears
  • May show acute inflammatory changes
  • Tend to form clumps in liquid based cytology preparations (LBC), as opposed to conventional smears
  • Trichomonas and Leptothrix together have been referred to as "spaghetti and meatballs"
Cytology images

Images hosted on other servers:
Missing Image


Missing Image

LBC: Leptothrix with Trichnomonas

Missing Image

Long filamentous structure

Differential diagnosis
Back to top
Image 01 Image 02