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Destained Cervical Smears in Diagnosing Candidiasis Using Periodic Acid Stiff Stain

Background: Periodic acid Schiff plays a major role in conforming candida infection. Major drawback in use of this stain in cytology is highly variable sample quality among slides. Typically, use of this stain is done after review of routine Papanicolaou stained smear and thus requires additional unstained sample. If the additional sample lacks representative material, false negative or inconclusive results may occur.

Objective: To use the destained cervical smears for application of periodic acid Schiff stain and evaluate the slides qualitatively to determine usefulness of destained cytology specimens in diagnosing candidiasis.

Method: Twelve routine Papanicolaou stained cervical cytology smears positive for candida organisms were collected from the Cytopathology laboratory of university medical hospital. Cells in a minimum of 4 fields were photographed under 10x and 40x magnification. These slides were then destained using different concentrations of acid alcohol followed by restaining with Periodic Acid Schiff. The same fields were Rephotographed under 10x and 40x magnification and an observer evaluated the slides qualitatively in comparison with original Papanicolaou smear. The collected data were tabulated and analyzed using SPSS software.

Result: Destaining was achieved using all three concentrations (1%, 5%, and 10%) of acid alcohol. But Optimum destaining was achieved using 5% acid alcohol. Periodic acid Schiff independent of destaining process demonstrated candida clearly in destained slides. Staining intensity, background, cell morphology and nuclear counter staining results similar to Papanicolaou stain.

Conclusion: Destaining does not appear to affect the ability of Periodic acid Schiff stain to exhibit candida. Thus destained cytology slides prove to be a reliable option in suspected candida cases when few slides are available or only stained slides are there.


Sandhya Sundar

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