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Cytologic diagnosis of herpes simplex virus infection

Authors
Journal
Clinics in Dermatology
0738-081X
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
2
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0738-081x(84)90068-3
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

Abstract Alterations in epithelial cells infected with herpes simplex viruses (HSV) have been described repeatedly 1–7 since Tzank, 8 in 1947, advocated the use of cytology for the diagnosis of these infections. In spite of successful use of this technique in the following years by Blank and his collaborators, 9,10 enthusiasm for this diagnostic method gradually waned because of the emergence of other, more sophisticated, laboratory tests for viral diagnosis (culture, serology, antibody determination, animal inoculation, electron microscopy, etc.). 11 For the last 20 years, with the use of the Papanicolaou staining method, cytology has proven to be a fairly reliable, rapid, and simple method of diagnosis of HSV infections. The Pap stain gives better nuclear detail of the alcohol-fixed cells than the original Tzank smear, which was air-dried and Giemsa stained. This cytologic diagnosis has been and continues to be especially significant in detecting cervical herpetic infections through the use of Papanicolaou smears for cancer screening of asymptomatic women. 12

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