Journal of Cytology
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Year : 2002  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 87-91

Autofluorescence of fungi in papanicolaou stained smears an aid to rapid diagnosis of soft tissue mycosis

1 Assistant Pathologist, Tata Memorial Hospital, Parel, Mumbai 400 012, India
2 Associate Professor, Department of Pathology, B.Y.L. Nair Ch. Hospital & T.N.M. College, Mumbai Central, Mumbai 400 008, India

Correspondence Address:
Tanuja Shet
309/31, Prabhudarshan, Swatantra Sainik Nagar, Amboli, Andheri (West), Mumbai-400 058
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Clinically unsuspected soft tissue fungal infections and early eumycotic mycetomas may be easily missed on cytology, as the fungal elements are easily masked by inflammatory cells and necrotic debris. We decided to use the property of autofluorescence of fungi in Papanicolaou stained cytology smears to clearly delineate the fiingal structure and observe whether this improves the accuracy rates. Three cases of eumycotic foot mycetomas and one case each of soft tissue aspergillosis and rhinosporidiosis were analyzed using this method. This method helped us in picking up fungal elements that had been missed during the original ordinary microscopic evaluation. It failed in a single case where the fungus was deeply embedded in the soft tissue and was hence probably not included in the aspirates. Fluorescent screening of Papanicolaou stained smears is a useful technique and could be used to screen nonspecific soft tissue inflammations in immunocompromised patients and farmers with foot swellings to rule out presence of a fungus.

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