Forensic Cytology

  • Reinhard B. Dettmeyer


The importance of forensic cytology lies in the microscopic detection of particular cells. For example, cytology is used to detect or rule out the presence of intact sperm, or at least sperm heads, following sexual offenses. Vaginal, anal, and oral swabs, as well as swabs from other body sites, are analyzed, as are traces of secretion eluted from, e.g., textile fabrics. Textile fibers can also be analyzed microscopically for adherent sperm. If a condom was used, swabs may show starch grains. Using Lugol’s solution, an attempt can also be made to detect vaginal epithelial cells, e.g., on the surface of a used condom. Cytological diagnostic methods may also be helpful in the collection of cells to investigate a possible mix-up of samples or to present findings in cases of suspected administration of incompatible blood transfusions.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reinhard B. Dettmeyer
    • 1
  1. 1.University Hospital Giessen Institute of Forensic MedicineGiessenGermany

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