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Acta Cytol. 2003 Mar-Apr;47(2):135-40.

Significance of histiocytes on otherwise-normal cervical smears from postmenopausal women. A retrospective study of 108 cases.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA.



To evaluate the significance of histiocytes on normal cervical smears from postmenopausal women and correlate them with endometrial pathology.


Histiocytes were classified into three types. The clinical history was obtained from cytologic and surgical reports.


Among 108 cervical smears, 13 had large, foamy histiocytes (type A), 88 had histiocytes resembling superficial endometrial stromal cells (type B), and 7 had variably sized histiocytes alone or in association with inflammatory or multinucleated cells (type C). Endometrial pathology was identified in 13 patients (12.0%): 4/13 with type A histiocytes (2 endometrial adenocarcinomas, 2 endometrial polyps), 8/88 with type B histiocytes (8 endometrial polyps) and 1/7 with type C histiocytes (endometrial polyp). Among 70 patients with no clinical indications for endometrial sampling except for the presence of histiocytes, 4 demonstrated endometrial pathology (all endometrial polyps). In contrast, endometrial pathology was identified in 9/38 with clinical indications for endometrial sampling. Among the 13 patients with endometrial pathology, 9 had a significant clinical history (sensitivity of 69.2%), and 4 had histiocytes as the only indication for endometrial biopsy (sensitivity of 30.8%).


A significant clinical history is more predictive of endometrial pathology and outweighs the significance of histiocytes as an indication for endometrial biopsy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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