Mimics and Contaminants

  • Liron Pantanowitz
  • Robert A. Goulart
  • Rafael Martínez-Girón
Chapter
Part of the Essentials in Cytopathology book series (EICP, volume 17)

Abstract

Many potential artifacts and contaminants may be encountered when examining cytology slides that could mimic true microorganisms or cytopathic changes secondary to infection and thereby lead to an erroneous diagnosis. They may occur at the time the sample is collected or they may occur during or after laboratory processing. When one encounters such findings, their significance should be established and ways to avoid them determined. This chapter describes several cytology artifacts and contaminants that are likely to be mistaken for true infections.

Suggested Reading

  1. Avrin E, Marquet E, Schwarz R, Sobel H. Plant cells resembling tumor cells in routine cytology. Am J Clin Pathol. 1972;57:303–5.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Hadziyannis E, Yen-Lieberman B, Hall G, Procop GW. Ciliocytophthoria in clinical virology. Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2000;124:1220–3.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Martínez-Girón R. Sporangia, sporangium-like spherules and mimicking structures in respiratory cytology. Diagn Cytopathol. 2010;38:897–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Martínez-Girón R, González-López JR, Escobar-Stein J, Jou-Muñoz C, García-Miralles M, Ribas-Barceló A. Freshwater microorganisms and other arthropods in Papanicolaou smears. Diagn Cytopathol. 2005;32:222–5.Google Scholar
  5. Martínez-Girón R, González-López JR, Esteban JG, García-Miralles MT, Alvarez-de-los-Heros C, Ribas-Barceló A. Worm-like artifacts in exfoliative cytology. Diagn Cytopathol. 2006;34:636–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Martínez-Girón R, Jodra-Fernández O, Tormo-Molina R, Esteban JG, Ribas-Barceló A. Uncommon structures simulating helminth eggs in sputum. Acta Cytol. 2005;49:578–80.Google Scholar
  7. Martínez-Girón R, Ribas-Barceló A. Algae in cytologic smears. Acta Cytol. 2001;45:936–40.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Martínez-Girón R, Ribas-Barceló A, García-Miralles MT, López-­Cabanilles D, Tamargo-Peláez ML, Torre-Bayón C, et al. Airborne ­fungal spores, pollen grains, and vegetable cells in routine Papanicolaou smears. Diagn Cytopathol. 2004;30:381–5.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Martínez-Girón R, Ribas-Barceló A, García-Miralles MT, López-­Cabanilles D, Tamargo-Peláez L, Torre-Bayón C, et al. Diatoms and rotifers in cytological smears. Cytopathology. 2003;14:70–2.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Rivasi F, Tosi G, Ruozi B, Curatola C. Vegetable cells in Papanicolaou-stained cervical smears. Diagn Cytopathol. 2006;34:45–9.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liron Pantanowitz
    • 1
  • Robert A. Goulart
    • 2
  • Rafael Martínez-Girón
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity of Pittsburgh Medical CenterPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.New England Pathology Associates, Mercy Medical CenterSisters of Providence Health System/Catholic Health EastSpringfieldUSA
  3. 3.CF Anatomía Patológica y CitologíaInstituto de Piedras BlancasPiedras BlancasSpain

Personalised recommendations