DNA cytometry in postirradiation cervical-vaginal smears

Diane D. Davey, Holly Gallion, C. Darrell Jennings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Benign radiation change (BRC) in cervical-vaginal smears may be difficult to distinguish from postirradiation dysplasia (PRD) or recurrent cervical carcinoma. The utility of DNA analysis in postirradiation smears was evaluated retrospectively in 71 patients. Representative Papanicolaou smears were restained with a Feulgen method and 100 to 250 cells were analyzed for DNA content using the CAS 200 image analysis system. Thirty-three control irradiated patients had negative smears with a minimum 3-year follow-up. Thirty controls (91%) had diploid histograms with a mean coefficient of variation of 8.2% and an average of 6.8% of cells in S and G2 M phase. Three control patients had atypical nondiagnostic histograms. Twenty-three patients had abnormal smears and subsequent local recurrence; 21 (91%) had abnormal histograms, with seven showing polyploidy and 14 showing aneuploidy. The remaining 15 patients had abnormal smears diagnosed as PRD but no evidence of recurrent carcinoma. Five were polyploid, six were aneuploid, one was diploid, and three were atypical but nondiagnostic. Interactive DNA cytometry is useful in differentiating BRC from PRD and recurrent cancer. Aneuploidy is rarely, if ever, seen in negative smears with BRC. However, BRC may be associated with broad diploid peaks and increased proliferating cells. An abnormal histogram can be seen with PRD and does not always correlate with recurrent disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1027-1031
Number of pages5
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1992

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
From the Departments of Pathology and Obstetrics-Gynecology, University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington, KY. Accepted for publication November 5, 1991. Supported by a Physician’s Service Plan Award, University of Kentucky College of Medicine. Presented in part at the United States-Canadian Academy of Pathology, Chicago, IL, March 1991. Key wordsc cervical cancer, DNA cytometry, radiation change, postirradiation dysplasia. Address correspondence to Diane D. Davey, MD, Pathology CC444, University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington, KY 40536-0093. Repints not available. Copyright 0 1992 by W.B. Saunders Company 0046.8177/92/2309-0009$5.00/O


  • DNA cytometry
  • cervical cancer
  • postirradiation dysplasia
  • radiation change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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