Title: Normal exfoliative cytology, cervix (human)
Description: Stain Papanicolaou. Pap smear test.
(A): follicular period (estrogen dominance); in smears equal number of large, swollen superficial, polygonal acidophilic cells and deeper basophilic cells. Nuclei are pyknotic and keratohyalin granules (arrows) visible.
(B): luteal period (progesterone dominance); cytolysis present (inset, B1) and in (B2) few acidophilic cells but more basophilic cells present, and several cells with folded borders, dispersed Döderlein bacteria (Lactusbacillus vaginales, arrow).
(C): menopausal atrophy; sheets of parabasal and basal cells, naked nuclei, polymorphonuclear granulocytes.
(By courtesy of Mrs. R. Salet-van de Pol, Chief of Cytopathology, Department of Pathology, Radboud university medical center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands).
Background: Vaginal epithelium is at thickest (250 mm, 40 cell layers) with a fully differentiated squamous epithelium at time of ovulation. Under the influence of progesterone in the secretory period with epithelial desquamation the epithelium thinnes (30 layers) and as a result less acidophilic cells but more basophilic cells are present. Döderlein bacteria (Lactobacillus vaginales), polymorphonuclear granulocytes and lymphocytes could be also present. In the menopause the normal squamous epithelium decreases in size due to atrophy.
Keywords/Mesh: female reproductive organs, cervix, cytology, menstrual cycle, histology, cytology, POJA collection.