Curr Health Sci J, vol. 46, no. 4, 2020

Clinicopathological Study of 117 Body Fluids: Comparison of Conventional Smear and Cell Block Technique

[Original Paper]


(1)Department of Pathology, Dr. D. Y. Patil medical college, hospital and research center, Nerul, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India


Background. Cell block method (CB) has emerged as an invaluable tool for diagnosis of effusions. It can help overcome the problems faced by conventional smear (CS) by differentiating between reactive, inflammatory and malignant cells. The aim of the study is to compare and correlate the CB diagnosis with the CS findings of various pathological conditions including malignancy. Materials and Methods. Two years prospective cross-sectional study of 117 fluids received for routine examination and/or for cytology was conducted. CS as well as CB was simultaneously prepared from the fluid and the results were correlated and tabulated for statistical analysis. Results. Mean age of presentation was 43±21.1 years and male: female ratio was 1.3:1. Ascitic fluid (46.2%) was the most common followed by pleural (40.2%). Among malignancies, primary ovarian and lung carcinoma were the most common to present with malignant ascites (33.3%) and pleural effusion (66.7%) respectively. Six suspicious for malignancy on CS were provided a definitive diagnosis of malignancy on CB. Overall, CB increased the yield of malignancy by 8.3%. The agreement between CB and CS for malignant effusions and suspicious for malignancy were 41.7% and 14.3% respectively. Sensitivity of CS method when compared to CB, for malignant peritoneal and pleural effusions was 90% and 75% respectively while the specificity was 68% and 79% respectively. Conclusion. CB has a better diagnostic yield of malignancy and helps in providing a definitive diagnosis for cases that are suspicious for malignancy on CS. Hence, CB should be routinely employed along with CS for all effusions.

Cell block technique, Conventional smear, body fluids, malignant effusions.

Divya Shetty, Department of Pathology, Dr. D. Y. Patil medical college, hospital and research center, Nerul, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, e-mail:

DOI 10.12865/CHSJ.46.04.03 - Download PDF