Combined analysis of cervical smears. Cytopathology, image cytometry and in situ hybridization.
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This study was an attempt to correlate the Bethesda System of Papanicolaou smear classification with DNA content by image analysis and the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV) as determined by in situ hybridization. DNA histograms were classified as normal diploid, diploid proliferative, polyploid and aneuploid. HPV in situ hybridization was performed with a cocktail of probes specific to HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18. There was a good correlation between normal cytology and normal DNA histograms. Cytologically normal smears with bacterial or fungal infections showed a high proliferation index. HPV infection correlated with DNA polyploidy but was seen in 15 of 29 smears classified as cytologically normal. Morphologically abnormal Papanicolaou smears correlated with aneuploid DNA content. Smears classified as intraepithelial neoplasia correlated with aneuploid DNA content in all 12 cases. Four of five cases cytologically suspicious for HPV infection had HPV by in situ hybridization.
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