• cytospin;
  • vulval disease;
  • dyskaryosis;
  • cytology

The use of cytospin monolayer technique in the cytological diagnosis of vulval and anal disease

This pilot study investigated the use of the non-invasive cytospin monolayer technique in the diagnosis and screening of neoplastic and non-neoplastic vulval disease. Twenty-three patients (age range 34–86 years) attending a vulval disease clinic had brush cytology performed. The samples were prepared with a cytospin monolayer technique and the slides Papanicolaou-stained. Subsequent cytological interpretation and diagnosis were performed without knowledge of the clinical history and correlated with follow-up biopsy histopathology from each patient. Twenty-eight cytospin samples were analysed in total, of which 11 (39%) contained dyskaryotic cells which were assessed and a predicted VIN/AIN grade given. Ten of 11 samples (91%) reported as dyskaryotic had VIN/AIN on biopsy histology. One of 11 samples (9%) was reported as containing occasional squamous cells with borderline nuclear features and, although the corresponding biopsy did not show VIN, basal atypia was reported. One patient had features suggesting invasive carcinoma on cytology which was verified on subsequent biopsy. The 15 cases in which no dyskaryotic cells were identified did not show VIN or AIN on subsequent histology. Two cases were acellular and considered inadequate for cytological interpretation. The cytospin monolayer technique allows the diagnosis of neoplastic from non-neoplastic vulval disease. It is a quick, inexpensive and non-invasive method that may have a role in diagnosis, screening and surveillance of patients.