• cytology;
  • infectious disease;
  • pathology;
  • oral cavity;
  • cytodiagnosis;
  • cytomorphology;
  • pitfalls

P. H. Braz-Silva, M. H. C. G. Magalhães, V. Hofman, K. L. Ortega, M. I. Ilie, G. Odin, P. Vielh and P. Hofman

Usefulness of oral cytopathology in the diagnosis of infectious diseases

In recent years, the incidence of oral opportunistic infections has increased, partly due to the widespread implementation of organ and bone marrow transplantation and the increase in the prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Cytology can be used as a rapid, inexpensive and simple routine procedure in diagnosing infectious diseases of the mouth. Moreover, ancillary methods can be applied to cytological samples, increasing the specificity and sensitivity for the diagnosis of infectious diseases. This review describes the cytopathological features of the main viral, fungal, bacterial and parasitic infections of the mouth. Cytological techniques of specimen collection, identification of infectious agents by cytomorphological approaches and ancillary methods, and diagnostic pitfalls will be discussed.