Cytology of the vulva: feasibility and preliminary results of a new brush.
until further notice
SourceBritish Journal of Cancer, 106, 2, (2012), pp. 269-273
Article / Letter to editor
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British Journal of Cancer
SubjectONCOL 1: Hereditary cancer and cancer-related syndromes; ONCOL 3: Translational research; ONCOL 5: Aetiology, screening and detection; ONCOL 5: Aetiology, screening and detection NCMLS 2: Immune Regulation; ONCOL 3: Translational research
OBJECTIVE: Taking a biopsy is a standard procedure to make the correct diagnosis in patients with suspicious premalignant vulvar lesions. The use of a less invasive diagnostic tool as triage instrument to determine whether biopsy is necessary may improve patient comfort especially in patients with chronic vulvar disorders that may warrant consecutive biopsies. This study was conducted to investigate whether vulvar brush cytology is feasible and may be used to detect (pre)malignant vulvar lesions. METHODS: A pilot study was performed with patients having clinically normal vulvar skin, lichen sclerosus (LS), usual or differentiated vulvar intraepithelial neoplasia or squamous cell carcinoma. A total of 65 smears were taken with the use of a vulvar brush and biopsies were performed for histopathological analysis. RESULTS: Out of 65 smears, 17 (26%) were discarded because of poor cellularity. A total of 28 of 29 (97%) smears with a histological proven (pre)malignancy had a smear classified as 'suspicious' or 'uncertain'. Cytology classified 11 smears as 'non-suspicious', of which 10 (91%) were indeed normal skin or LS. The accuracy, based on the presence of a lesion, for (pre)malignant lesions with the use of the brush showed a sensitivity of 97% and a negative predictive value of 88%. CONCLUSION: Vulvar brush cytology is feasible and may be a first step in the development of a triage instrument to determine whether subsequent biopsy of a clinically (pre)malignant lesion is necessary.
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