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Related to Cytologic examination: exfoliative cytology


1. a mass of salivary matter ejected from the mouth
2. saliva ejected from the mouth mixed with mucus or pus exuded from the respiratory passages, as in bronchitis or bronchiectasis



pathological secretions from the respiratory tract that are discharged with a cough; they are the product of the overactivity of the mucous glands. Sputum often contains epithelial cells, bits of lung tissue, blood, and pus. The amount of sputum, as well as its appearance, is important in the diagnosis of disease.

Sputum may be mucous, purulent, serous, bloody, or mixed. Rusty sputum (sputum mixed with and colored by blood) is a sign of lobar pneumonia. Abundant purulent sputum is characteristic of a ruptured abscess in the lungs. Gray, dirty, malodorous sputum appears when there is putrefactive decomposition of lung tissue.

Sputum may be examined in a laboratory with the aid of a microscope and also by bacteriological and cytological analyses. Laboratory examination makes it possible to detect pathogenic microorganisms (including the causative agent of tuberculosis), cells of malignant tumors, and certain other elements that are characteristic of certain diseases, and to determine the sensitivity of bacterial flora to antibiotics.


Material discharged from the surface of the respiratory passages, mouth, or throat; may contain saliva, mucus, pus, microorganisms, blood, or inhaled particulate matter in any combination.
References in periodicals archive ?
In both cases we received fresh mid-stream urine samples in a summer month from the urologist for cytologic examination.
Within these 35 cases, cytologic examination was able to detect 13 lymphoid malignancies (37%) that were not detected by flow cytometry (either too few cells for meaningful analysis [10 of 13 samples; 77%] or were negative for malignancy [3 of 13 samples; 23%]).
He concluded that, despite its limitations, cytologic examination should be performed in every case of spontaneous discharge.
Although cytologic examination of a fine-needle aspirate of this mass or a biopsy might have been useful or diagnostic, these procedures were considered of high risk and were not performed because of possible perforation of intestinal loops, suspected hepatic disease, and the patient's poor health status.
The biopsies were performed under ultrasound guidance on 598 focal thyroid nodules in 466 consecutive patients using the fine-needle nonaspiration technique with on-site cytologic examination.
Cytologic examination of peritoneal fluids forms part of the staging process for ovarian cancer and influences therapeutic interventions (3).
Abnormal exfoliated cells can be routinely identified by cytologic examination of brushings and fluids, for instance, from bronchi, pancreatic ducts, voided urine, and effusions.
Cytologic examination of an impression smear of the pericardial mass revealed cohesive polygonal cells with a low nuclear: cytoplasm ratio and extracellular amorphous eosinophilic material.