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Cytojournal. 2013 Apr 24;10:7. doi: 10.4103/1742-6413.111080. Print 2013.

Abdominopelvic washings: A comprehensive review.

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1
Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.

Abstract

Intraperitoneal spread may occur with gynecological epithelial neoplasms, as well as with non-gynecological malignancies, which may result in serosal involvement with or without concomitant effusion. Therefore, washings in patients with abdominopelvic tumors represent important specimens for cytologic examination. They are primarily utilized for staging ovarian cancers, although their role has decreased in staging of endometrial and cervical carcinoma. Abdominopelvic washings can be positive in a variety of pathologic conditions, including benign conditions, borderline neoplastic tumors, locally invasive tumors, or distant metastases. In a subset of cases, washings can be diagnostically challenging due to the presence of co-existing benign cells (e.g., mesothelial hyperplasia, endosalpingiosis, or endometriosis), lesions in which there is only minimal atypia (e.g., serous borderline tumors) or scant atypical cells, and the rarity of specific tumor types (e.g., mesothelioma). Ancillary studies including immunocytochemistry and fluorescence in situ hybridization may be required in difficult cases to resolve the diagnosis. This article provides a comprehensive and contemporary review of abdominopelvic washings in the evaluation of gynecologic and non-gynecologic tumors, including primary peritoneal and mesothelial entities.

KEYWORDS:

Abdominopelvic washings; effusion cytology; fluid cytology; pelvic washings

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