International Journal of Health and Allied Sciences


Touch imprint cytology is the science of interpretation of cells that are either exfoliated from epithelial surfaces or removed from various tissues. Over the years cytology has evolved into a major branch in diagnostic pathology. It includes both exfoliative cytology and fine needle aspiration biopsy. Exfoliative cytology has advanced to become the most reliable screening test for uterine cervical malignancies. It also finds its application in various other organ systems, either as a part of analysis of body fluid, lavage fluid, abrasive technique such as brushings and scrapings or the simple touch or imprint smears. Dudgeon and Patrick in 1927 and Bamforth and Osborn in 1958 have reported about imprint technique. Touch imprint cytology has been found valuable in the diagnosis of lesions of gastrointestinal tract, central nervous system, lung, thyroid, parathyroid, breast, ovary, lymph node, spleen, bone marrow, bone and soft tissue, oral cavity, pancreaticobiliary system. The application of video endoscopy has greatly facilitated the diagnosis of gastrointestinal tract lesions. Though taking biopsies has been common practice in endoscopic diagnosis, touch imprint cytology has not been widely practiced in this setting. This is in spite of several studies which have proved the usefulness of cytology beyond doubt. Many workers find the technique practical in giving an autopsy diagnosis especially because of its cost effectiveness. It can be used as a teaching tool for students of autopsy pathology due to its simplicity. With this background, we designed a study to investigate the role of imprint cytology in the endoscopic and intraoperative diagnosis of lesions of gastrointestinal tract and pancreaticobiliary system in our institute.