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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 1994 Nov;118(11):1115-8.

Touch cytology. A quick, simple, sensitive screening test in the diagnosis of infections of the gastrointestinal mucosa.

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Department of Medicine, Clinique St Pierre, Ottignies, Belgium.


To assess the role of touch cytology (imprint from endoscopic biopsy specimens) in the diagnosis of mucosal infections of the gastrointestinal tract, we reviewed all records and specimens of patients seen during a 30-month period. Touch cytology was performed by rolling biopsy specimens on glass slides. After air fixation, a rapid staining method similar to May-Gr├╝nwald-Giemsa was used. The following infections and pathogens were diagnosed (in decreasing order of frequency): Helicobacter pylori gastritis (n = 53), Candida albicans esophagitis (n = 40), Giardia lamblia (n = 13), Gastrospirillum hominis (n = 11), and Blastocystis hominis (n = 8). The smear was positive in 45 patients with H pylori, in 35 patients with C albicans, in nine patients with G lamblia, in 11 patients with G hominis, and in eight patients with B hominis. Cytology was the only positive test in eight, nine, four, seven, and eight patients, respectively, and increased thus the diagnostic yield obtained by histologic examination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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