Cytology of 575 young women with prenatal exposure to diethylstilbestrol.
The vaginal and cervical cellular changes encountered in 575 postpubertal females exposed prenatally to diethylstilbestrol (DES) were compared with those of an unexposed population with particular reference to the role of cytology in the detection of vaginal adenosis and cervical ectropion (erosion). Several methods of obtaining specimens were utilized, the most effcacious of which was scraping of the vagina, especially the fornices, and the portio vaginalis of the cervix. With this technic, columnar cells of the mucinous type and metaplastic squamous cells were observed in 34% of the vaginal scrapes and 54% of the scrapes of the cervical portio. A higher incidence was apparent among those patients in whom iodine staining of the vaginal mucosa was abnormal or vaginal adenosis was proven by biopsy. Moderate to severe dysplasia of the squamous cells or atypical glandular cells were found in 1% of the exposed subjects. This study indicates that the presence of mucinous columnar or metaplastic squamous cells in vaginal scrapes is suggestive of vaginal adenosis but that vaginal cytology cannot be considered a uniformly reliable screening technic for detecting the presence of this disorder.
Robboy, SJ; Friedlander, LM; Welch, WR; Keh, PC; Taft, PD; Barnes, AB; Scully, RE; Herbst, AL
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