Psammoma bodies in cervicovaginal smears: significance and practical implications for diagnostic cytopathology.

Department of Pathology, Yale University School of Medicine and Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
Advances in Anatomic Pathology (Impact Factor: 3.1). 10/2004; 11(5):250-61.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The traditional association of psammoma bodies with some malignancies of the gynecologic tract raises potentially significant management difficulties when such bodies are identified on routine cervicovaginal smears. This review summarizes the reported cases of psammoma bodies identified on cervicovaginal smears in the world literature (a total of 140 cases, 113 (81%) of which had sufficient clinicopathologic information). Our conclusions are as follows: (1) The finding of psammoma bodies in this setting is distinctly unusual with an incidence of less than 0.001% on consecutively screened smears. (2) On consecutively screened smears, patients with psammoma bodies have an associated malignancy or ovarian borderline tumor 0-22.7% of the time, depending on the series; this figure climbs to 38% when all the case reports and small series in the literature are included. (3) The most reliable predictor of a malignancy in these patients is the finding of cells on the smear that by themselves are diagnostic of malignancy on cytologic grounds. (4) Other factors that, on a purely statistical basis, appear to increase the likelihood of a synchronous or metachronous malignancy or borderline tumor include an older age at diagnosis and/or clinical presentations such as postmenopausal bleeding. (5) When 1 or more psammoma bodies are identified on a cervicovaginal smear, this finding should not be ignored and should generate some clinical investigation to identify its source.

  • Cytopathology 07/2013; 25(4). DOI:10.1111/cyt.12080 · 1.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Psammoma bodies (PBs) are concentric lamellated calcified structures, observed most commonly in papillary thyroid carcinoma (PTC), meningioma, and papillary serous cystadenocarcinoma of ovary but have rarely been reported in other neoplasms and nonneoplastic lesions. PBs are said to represent a process of dystrophic calcification. Despite numerous ancillary studies over a span of three and half decades, formation of PBs remains a poorly understood mechanism. Ultrastructural study of PTC has shown that thickening of the base lamina in vascular stalk of neoplastic papillae followed by thrombosis, calcification, and tumor cell necrosis leads to formation of PBs. Studies on serous cystadenocarcinoma of ovary and meningioma, however, revealed that collagen production by neoplastic cells and subsequent calcification was responsible for the formation of PBs. The existence of some precursor forms of PBs was reported in meningiomas and more recently in PTC, which were mostly in the form of extracellular hyaline globules surrounded by well-preserved neoplastic cells or in a smaller number of cases intracytoplasmic bodies liberated from intact tumor cells. Cellular degeneration and necrosis, leading to the disappearance of neoplastic cells, were noticed by us only around PBs but not around the precursor forms. Based on the above findings, it is suggested that rather than being the outcome of dystrophic calcification of dead or dying tissue, PBs may indeed represent an active biologic process ultimately leading to degeneration/death of tumor cells and retardation of growth of the neoplasm. It may also serve as a barrier against the spread of neoplasm.
    Diagnostic Cytopathology 07/2009; 37(7):534-41. DOI:10.1002/dc.21081 · 1.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Different noncellular elements, such as round concentric calcified laminated structures, may be found in sputum smears. If these structures appear isolated on the background of the smear, the term usually used to describe them is "calcareous concretions" (CC). On the contrary, when the structures are part of epithelial cell groups or small tissue fragments, the term used to describe them is "Psammoma bodies" (PB). The aim of this work is to establish the relationship between these structures and pulmonary disease, especially lung carcinoma, by searching for the presence of CC and/or PB in sputum smears. Our study has taken as a basis 16.716 sputum smears from 696 patients obtained during a 7-year period (2003-2009). After reviewing them, it was found that from the total, 66 cases (0.39%) contained round calcified structures, 57 of them (0.34%) corresponding to CC, and the remaining 9 ones (0.05%) corresponding to PB. From these 57 CC cases, 56 corresponded to benign entities, and only one was found with lung carcinoma. On the other hand, from the 9 PB cases all of them (100%) were related to lung adenocarcinoma. We conclude that, even having a similar morphological structure, these aforementioned calcified structures we have observed in sputum smears have different and relevant clinical significance. Diagn. Cytopathol. 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Diagnostic Cytopathology 09/2014; 42(9). DOI:10.1002/dc.23120 · 1.52 Impact Factor