The Role of Cytology in Diagnosis

  • Gordon Canti


The historical development of clinical cytology in the diagnosis of chest disease has been fully documented by Grunze (1960). The concept of the cell as a biological unit was established by Schwann (1839) in the early part of the nineteenth century. Müller (1838) published a drawing of mammary cancer cells which is quite remarkable in view of the primitive microscopes available at that time. Illustrations of exfoliated cells including cancer cells from the respiratory tract can be found in monographs by Donné (1845) in Paris and Walshe (1846) in London. A few years later some very accurate illustrations of malignant squamous cells from a cancer of the pharynx were published by Beale (1860), but it was not until 1887 that the first diagnosis of carcinoma of the bronchus was made in spontaneously raised sputum (Hampeln 1887). The first cytological diagnosis of malignancy in serous effusions was recorded by Lücke and Klebs (1867).


Malignant Cell Mesothelial Cell Pleural Fluid Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Cytological Diagnosis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Auerbach O, Stout AP, Hammond EC, Garfinkel L (1%1) Changes in bronchial epithelium in relation to cigarette smoking and in relation to lung cancer. N Engl J Med 265: 253–267Google Scholar
  2. Barret NR (1938) Examination of the sputum for malignant cells and particles of malignant growth. J Thorac Surg 8: 169–183Google Scholar
  3. Beale LS (1860) Examination of sputum from a case of cancer of the pharynx and the adjacent parts. Arch Med 2: 44Google Scholar
  4. Boddington MM, Spriggs AI (1965) Cytological diagnosis of cancer: its uses and limitations. Br Med J 1: 1523–1528PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Canti G (1966) Carcinoma-in-situ of the bronchus. Some aspects of carcinoma of the bronchus. A symposium.Google Scholar
  6. Teare D, Fenning J (eds) 41–50 King Edward VII Hospital, Midhurst, England Donné A (1845) Cours de microscopie complémentaire des etudes medicales. Bailliére et fils, ParisGoogle Scholar
  7. Dudgeon LS, Patrick CV (1927) A new method for the rapid microscopical diagnosis of tumours with account of 200 cases so examined. Br J Surg 15: 250–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dudgeon LS, Wrigley CH (1935) On the demonstration of particles of malignant growth in the sputum by means of the wet film method. J Laryngol Otol 50: 752–763CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Farber SM, Benioff MA, Frost JK, Rosenthal- M, Tobias G (1948) Cytological studies of sputum and bronchial secretions in primary carcinoma of the lung. Dis Chest 14: 633–664Google Scholar
  10. Gloyne SR (1937) The cytology of sputum. Tubercle 18: 292–297CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gowar FJS (1943) Carcinoma of the lung: the value of sputum examination in diagnosis. Br J Surg 39: 193–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Grunze H (1960) A critical review and evaluation of cytodiagnosis in chest diseases. Acta Cytol IV: 175–198Google Scholar
  13. Grzybowski S, Coy P (1970) Early diagnosis of carcinoma of the lung. Simultaneous screening with chest X-ray and sputum cytology. Cancer 25: 113–120Google Scholar
  14. Hampeln P (1887) Über einen Fall von primären Lungen-Pleura-Carcinom. St Petersburger Med Wochenschr 17: 137–139Google Scholar
  15. Hattori S, Matsuda M, Nishihara H, Horai T (1964) Early diagnosis of small peripheral lung cancer: brushing method under X-ray television fluoroscopy. Dis Chest 45: 129–142PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Koss LG, Melamed MR, Goodner JT (1964) Pulmonary cytology — a brief survey of diagnostic results for July 1st 1952 until Dec. 31st 1960. Acta Cytol 8: 104–113PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Laurie W, Szaloky LG (1971) Sputum cytology in the diagnosis of bronchial carcinoma. Med J Aust 1: 247–251PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Lücke A, Klebs E (1867) Beitrag zur Ovariotomie and zur Kenntnis der Abdominalgeschwülste. Arch Pathol Anat 41: 1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. McDonald JC, Liddell FDK, Gibbs GW, Eyssen GE, McDonald AD (1980) Dust exposure and mortality in crysotile mining 1910–1975. Br J Ind Med 37: 11–24PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Melamed MR, Koss LG, Clifton EE (1963) Roentgenologically occult lung cancer diagnosed by cytology: report of 12 cases. Cancer 16: 1537–1551PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Müller J (1838) Über den feineren Bau and die Formen der krankhaften Geschwülste. Reimers, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  22. Oswald NC, Hinson KFW, Canti G, Miller AB (1971) The diagnosis of primary lung cancer with special reference to sputum cytology. Thorax 26: 623–631PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Papanicolaou GN, Traut HF (1943) Diagnosis of uterine cancer by the vaginal smear. Commonwealth Fund, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  24. Philps FR (1954) The identification of carcinoma cells in sputum. Br J Cancer 8: 67–96PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Raeburn C, Spencer H (1953) A study of the origin and development of lung cancer. Thorax 8: 1–10PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rome DS, Olson KB (1961) A direct comparison of natural and aerosol produced sputum collected from 776 asymptomatic men. Acta Cytol 5: 173–176PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Royal College of Physicians of London (1971) Smoking and health now. Pitman Medical, LondonGoogle Scholar
  28. Russell WO, Neidhardt HW, Mountain CF, Griffith KM, Chang JP (1963) Cytodiagnosis of lung cancer: a report on a four-year laboratory clinical and statistical study with a review of the literature on lung cancer and pulmonary cytology. Acta Cytol 7: 1–44PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Saccomanno G, Saunders RP, Archer VE, Auerbach O, Kuschner M, Beckler PA (1965) Cancer of the lung: the cytology of sputum prior to the development of carcinoma. Acta Cytol 9: 413–423PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Schwann T (1839) Mikroskopische Untersuchungen über die Übereinstimmung in der Struktur und dem Wachstum der Tiere und Pflanzen. GD Reiner, Berlin.Google Scholar
  31. Spriggs Al (1972) The cytology of effusion in the pleural, pericardial and peritoneal cavities, 2nd edn. Heinemann, LondonGoogle Scholar
  32. Taylor WF, Fontana RS, Uhlenhopp MA, Davis CS (1981) Some results of screening for early lung cancer. Cancer 47 [Suppl]: 1114–1120PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Walshe WH (1846) On the nature and treatment of cancer. Taylor and Walton, LondonGoogle Scholar
  34. Wandall HH (1944) A study on neoplastic cells in sputum. Acta Chir Scand 91 [Suppl]: 1–143Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gordon Canti

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations