• DNA;
  • ploidy;
  • LSC;
  • liquid-based cytology;
  • predictive medicine



To evaluate slide-based cytometry in screening for and following up of carcinoma of the upper aerodigestive tract using swabs for a minimal-invasive approach.


Laser scanning cytometry (LSC) was used for multiparametric analysis of cells stained for cytokeratin and DNA to determine the DNA-index (DI) of the tumor cells. Histograms with 0.95 < DI < 1.05 and 1.9 < DI < 2.1 were defined as DNA euploid and any other DI as DNA aneuploid. After subsequent HE-staining, single cells were relocalized in order to document morphology. Conventional cytology was also performed on a subset of the slides. Routine histopathology of parallel biopsies served as gold standard in all cases.


115 swabs from 109 patients were obtained from the entire upper aerodigestive tract. 16 swabs were classified as insufficient for LSC. In the remaining 99 specimens, 1 benign lesion was misclassified as malignant, while 61 of the 75 malignant lesions were correctly identified. This corresponds to predictive values of 98.4% and 62.2% for the detection of malignant and benign samples by LSC.


This pilot study demonstrates the validity of LSC screening for the identification of tumor malignancy in the upper aerodigestive tract from swab collected cytological material. © 2005 International Society for Analytical Cytology