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Diagn Cytopathol. 1992;8(4):342-5.

Columnar cells in posthysterectomy vaginal smears.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, St. Joseph Hospital, Omaha, NE 68131.


Columnar cells in posthysterectomy vaginal smears are unusual and rare. Nine such cases are reported here during a 6-yr period. All nine patients were asymptomatic and total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingoophorectomy for gynecological malignancies was performed 8 mo to 25 yr ago. Three patients had local radiation and one had systemic chemotherapy not less than 8 mo before the cytology. The columnar cells showed one of three patterns: 1) long, bipolar cells in sheets, resembling reparative columnar cells (4 cases), 2) goblet-type cells with eccentric nuclei (3 cases), and 3) tight clusters of small round cells (2 cases). No consistent relationship with age, treatment, or background was seen with any of the patterns. Follow-up of all cases by thorough pelvic examination, repeat smears, colposcopy, and biopsy showed no vaginal pathology. Benign mucinous or goblet cell metaplasia in atrophic vaginal epithelium may be the source of some of these cells in the vaginal smears.

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