Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cytojournal. 2012;9:15. doi: 10.4103/1742-6413.97763. Epub 2012 Jun 29.

Cytomorphology of unusual infectious entities in the Pap test.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


Rare entities in the Pap test, including neoplastic and non-neoplastic conditions, pose challenges due to their infrequent occurrence in the daily practice of cytology. Furthermore, these conditions give rise to important diagnostic pitfalls. Infections such as tuberculosis cervicitis may be erroneously diagnosed as carcinoma, whereas others, such as schistosomiasis, are associated with squamous cell carcinoma. These cases include granuloma inguinale (donovanosis), tuberculosis, coccidioidomycosis, schistosomiasis, taeniasis, and molluscum contagiosum diagnosed in Pap tests. Granuloma inguinale shows histiocytes that contain intracytoplasmic bacteria (Donovan bodies). Tuberculosis is characterized by necrotizing granulomatous inflammation with Langhans-multinucleated giant cells. Coccidioidomycosis may show large intact or ruptured fungal spherules associated with endospores. Schistosoma haematobium is diagnosed by finding characteristic ova with a terminal spine. Molluscum contagiosum is characterized by the appearance of squamous cells with molluscum bodies. This article reviews the cytomorphology of selected rare infections and focuses on their cytomorphology, differential diagnosis, and role of ancillary diagnostic studies.


Cytology; GYN cytology; Pap test; cytopathology; infection

Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Medknow Publications and Media Pvt Ltd Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk