Comparative assessment of DNA analysis in effusions by lmage analysis and flow cytometry

Evelyn R. Banks, C. Darrell Jennings, Susan Jacobs, Diane D. Davey

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13 Scopus citations


Cytologic evaluation of body cavity fluids is useful to detect malignancy within the pleural and peritoneal spaces. A definitive diagnosis cannot always be made on cytologic evaluation alone. As malignant processes may show abnormal DNA content, DNA analysis of effusions may be useful. Therefore, we determined the DNA content of 37 effusions by flow cytometry (FC) and image analysis (IA) using the CAS 200. Of the 37 fluids evaluated, 18 were cytologically malignant, 15 benign, and four atypical. Overall, 22 fluids (60%) showed concordance between FC and IA. None of the benign fluids were aneuploid. All showed diploid histograms or diploidy with increased proliferating cells. Three of four atypical fluids had increased proliferating cells by either FC or IA, whereas one was diploid by both methods. Aneuploidy was detected in 13 malignant fluids: five were aneuploid by both methods and eight by only one method. IA identified aneuploidy in five of those eight cases, while three were identified by FC. Three of the cytologically malignant fluids were diploid by both methods, and two showed increased proliferating cells by IA and diploidy by FC. The specificity of both methods was 100%. However, the sensitivity of identifying a malignant fluid by aneuploidy is low, 44% for FC and 55% for IA. IA appears to identify small aneuploid populations more frequently than FC. The detection of aneuploidy in effusions is highly suggestive of malignancy, and the combination of both techniques gives the highest detection rate (72%). However, neither are as sensitive as traditional cytologic evaluation with the occasional use of additional histochemical stains. © 1994 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-66
Number of pages5
JournalDiagnostic Cytopathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1994


  • Carcinoma
  • Peritoneal
  • Pleural

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology

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