How to describe a cyto slide?

Objective 10x:

Scanning the whole slide for general information!

=> Do I have a diagnostic slide?

·      Background: colour (protein content), presence of blood, debris (nuclear streaming, …), other material (fat,…)

·      Stain property (eosinophil & basophil

·      Searching cell material:

o   spread of cells => Can I find monolayer areas?

o   cellularity and cell preservation => Do I find enough, intact cells?

·      Looking for bigger parts (Platelet aggregats, microfilaria larvae in a skin nodule, extracellular pigment, ect.)


Objective 40x

Get the main information about cell type and dignity!

o   How many cell types are on the slide?

o   What is the main cell population?

§  Neutrophils, Monocytes, Lymphocytes, Eosinophiles

=> inflammation

§  Other cells:

·      cell type and shape: round, epithelial, spindle, naked nuclei, undifferentiated => tumor

§  Cell arrangements:

·      single cells or groups, palisade, acinar, row, ect.) and cohesiveness

§  Cell borders:

·      well defined, indistinct ect.

o   Criteria of malignancy (COM):

§  General and Nuclear: Anisocytosis, Anisokaryosis, Macrocytosis, Macrokaryosis, ect.


Objective 100x oil

Looking for more small details and nuclear/nucleolar COM!


       Nuclei, chromatin pattern


       Inclusion bodies

       Infectious agents......


Always keep in mind:

-       location of sampling => What tissue can I expect?

-       never try to interpret naked nuclei => Looking for intact cells with cytoplasma!