Journal of Cytology
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2006  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 129-132

Usefulness of cell blocks versus smears in malignant effusion cases


1 Professor, Department of Pathology, JN Medical College, AMU, Aligarh, India
2 Reader, Department of Pathology, JN Medical College, AMU, Aligarh, India
3 Lecturer, Department of Pathology, JN Medical College, AMU, Aligarh, India
4 Jr. Resident, Department of Pathology, JN Medical College, AMU, Aligarh, India

Correspondence Address:
N Khan
A-11 Medical Colony Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, 202 002
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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This study was conducted with the aim of increasing diagnostic yield and comparing the diagnostic utility of cell block technique versus smears in reporting of malignant effusion cases. At total of 75 malignant effusion cases were examined prospectively in paraffin embedded cell blocks and in smears. The number of positive malignant cases obtained with the combined cell block and smear technique was 29.3% more than that of specimens examined by smears only. Moreover with combined technique, primary site of malignancy could be determined with 81.3% accuracy, while in 18.7%, the site of primary malignancy could not be ascertained even by combined approach. Smears stained with Papanicolaou technique generally had good definition of malignant cellular changes, whereas cell blocks were particularly useful when cytologic abnormalities were misleading, such as in reactive mesothelial cells, or obscure, as in occasional well differentiated adenocarcinomas. It is therefore recommended that both cell blocks and smears be used in evaluating all malignant serous fluids submitted to cytology laboratory to increase the diagnostic utility.


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