To evaluate the role of the cytologist in the diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis, the predominant bacterial patterns seen in 157 Papanicolaou-stained cervical smears were assessed and classified as large bacillus, anaerobic or scanty. A large bacillus pattern was found in 73 smears (46%), and anaerobic pattern in 77 (49%) and scanty bacteria in 7 (5%). Comma-shaped (curved) bacilli were found in 34 smears. The prevalence of clue cells in smears with anaerobic patterns was 73%. Gardnerella vaginalis was cultured from 89% of the cases with anaerobic-type smears containing clue cells and from 88% of those with anaerobic-type smears lacking clue cells. Mobiluncus sp. was cultured from 83% of the cases with anaerobic-type smears showing curved bacilli and 14% of those with anaerobic-type smears lacking curved bacilli. Papanicolaou-stained smears were found to be more sensitive and more specific for identifying clue cells than were wet preparations. A positive association was found between a positive KOH 'whiff' test and the presence of curved bacilli on the Papanicolaou-stained smear. The clinical significance of these findings is discussed.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1989|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine