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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 207-208  

Imprint cytology

Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Sree Balaji Dental College and Hospital, Bharath University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission31-Oct-2014
Date of Decision31-Oct-2014
Date of Acceptance09-Nov-2014
Date of Web Publication30-Apr-2015

Correspondence Address:
Dr. V Kamatchi
Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Sree Balaji Dental College and Hospital, Bharath University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0975-7406.155905

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A valuable information on morphological details of the cell can be obtained through imprint cytology. Though it has some pitfalls, it is still considered to be one of the best methods as it provides an excellent cytological clarity in fresh surgical specimens. This article shares knowledge about the procedure, uses, advantages and disadvantages of imprint cytology.

Keywords: Benign neoplasms, imprint cytology, malignant neoplasms

How to cite this article:
Kamatchi V, Babu N A, Sankari S L, Rajesh E. Imprint cytology. J Pharm Bioall Sci 2015;7, Suppl S1:207-8

How to cite this URL:
Kamatchi V, Babu N A, Sankari S L, Rajesh E. Imprint cytology. J Pharm Bioall Sci [serial online] 2015 [cited 2022 Oct 2];7, Suppl S1:207-8. Available from:

Dudgeon and Patrick reported a technique for examination of imprints of fresh specimens. [1] Imprint cytology serves surgeons in identifying lesions whether it is malignant or not. [2],[3],[4] While the patient is under anesthesia it gives accurate results in minutes, pathologists views, arrives at a diagnosis and with this result surgeon modifies the surgical plans for the treatment. It provides an appropriate cellular detail. [5]

   Procedure Top

On a glass slide, freshly cut surface of the specimen is gently pressed, misrepresentation of the cell's shape can be prevented by restricting a gliding movement. Then the slide is stained with hematoxylin and eosin stain before that it is fixed with 95% of ethyl alcohol for 5-6 s. [6]

   Uses Top

In determining the parathyroid tissue, [7] the sentinel lymphnodes [8] and the adenomatous goiter. It is also useful in determining the surgical resection margins. [9],[10] However, it is extensively used in the diagnosis of benign and malignant lesions. [5] In tumors such as meningiomas, gliomas imprint cytology plays a major role. [11] Imprint cytology provides good results without any difficulties in basal carcinomas of the skin. [12] In the diagnosis of ovarian cancers, imprint cytology provides valuable details regarding the lesion, for further investigative procedures. [13]

Sarcoma occurring in the alveolar soft part also imprint cytology has been useful. [14] An accurate diagnosis is provided in the diagnosis of metastatic tumors. [15]

Imprint cytology is used as a diagnostic tool in the study for assessing the salivary gland tumors such as mixed parotid tumors, pleomorphic adenoma and mucoepidermoid carcinoma. [16]

   Advantages Top

The procedure for imprint cytology can be done even in underdeveloped infrastructure and deficient trained technician. Analysis of an individual cell is performed by imprint cytology. It provides an immediate result with minimal artifacts, it is cheaper and so it is most commonly used. A precise diagnosis is received through this technique. [16]

   Disadvantages Top

The depth of infiltration cannot be analyzed with imprint cytology. [17]

Tumors and well-differentiated tumors with dense fibrous stroma cannot be interpreted through this method. [5]

   Conclusion Top

Thus, imprint cytology plays a significant role in the quick diagnosis of the lesion. It provides crisp cytological details. Cost effectiveness, rapid results and simplicity are the further criteria promoting it to be a better option when compared with other techniques such as frozen sections.

   References Top

Dudgeon LS, Patrick CV. A new method for the rapid microscopical diagnosis of tumours, with an account of 200 cases so examined. Br J Surg 1927;15:250-61.  Back to cited text no. 1
Silverberg S, Nochomovitz L, Jannotta SF, Schwartz A. Intraoperative Consultation. A Guide to Smears, Imprints and Frozen Sections. 1 st ed. Washington DC: ASCP; 1989.  Back to cited text no. 2
Kim K, Phillips ER, Paolino M. Intraoperative imprint cytology: Its significance as a diagnostic adjunct. Diagn Cytopathol 1990;6:304-7.  Back to cited text no. 3
Manafis K. An intraoperative consultation. Usefulness, reason and accuracy of the method. Arch Hell Pathol 1997;11:472-7.  Back to cited text no. 4
Khalid A, Ul Haque A. International touch impression cytology versus frozen section as intraoperative consultation diagnosis. J Pathol 2004;2:63-70.  Back to cited text no. 5
Suen KC, Wood WS, Syed AA, Quenville NF, Clement PB. Role of imprint cytology in intraoperative diagnosis: Value and limitations. J Clin Pathol 1978;31:328-37.  Back to cited text no. 6
Westra WH, Pritchett DD, Udelsman R. Intraoperative confirmation of parathyroid tissue during parathyroid exploration: A retrospective evaluation of the frozen section. Am J Surg Pathol 1998;22:538-44.  Back to cited text no. 7
Henry-Tillman RS, Korourian S, Rubio IT, Johnson AT, Mancino AT, Massol N, et al. Intraoperative touch preparation for sentinel lymph node biopsy: A 4-year experience. Ann Surg Oncol 2002;9:333-9.  Back to cited text no. 8
Tworek JA, Giordano TJ, Michael CW. Comparison of intraoperative cytology with frozen sections in the diagnosis of thyroid lesions. Am J Clin Pathol 1998;110:456-61.  Back to cited text no. 9
Belleannée G, Verdebout J, Feoli F, Trouette H, de Mascarel A, Verhest A. Role of cytology and frozen sections in the intraoperative examination of the thyroid: Comparison of two experiences. Clin Exp Pathol 1999;47:273-7.  Back to cited text no. 10
Monabati A, Kumar PV, Kamkarpour A. Intraoperative cytodiagnosis of metastatic brain tumors confused clinically with brain abscess. A report of three cases. Acta Cytol 2000;44:437-41.  Back to cited text no. 11
Florell SR, Layfield LJ, Gerwels JW. A comparison of touch imprint cytology and Mohs frozen-section histology in the evaluation of Mohs micrographic surgical margins. J Am Acad Dermatol 2001;44:660-4.  Back to cited text no. 12
Souka S, Kamel M, Rocca M, el-Assi M, Hebeishy N, Sheir SH. The combined use of cytological imprint and frozen section in the intraoperative diagnosis of ovarian tumors. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 1990;31:43-6.  Back to cited text no. 13
McDonald EC, Haughton W, Lute K. Touch imprints: Their use in the frozen-section diagnosis of alveolar soft-part sarcoma. Arch Pathol Lab Med 1981;105:263-5.  Back to cited text no. 14
Ghandur-Mnaymneh L, Paz J. The use of touch preparations (tissue imprints) in the rapid intraoperative diagnosis of metastatic lymph node disease in cancer staging procedures. Cancer 1985;56:339-44.  Back to cited text no. 15
Ranjan A, Chandoke RK, Chauhan N, Kumari R. Oncology, study of tumors by imprint cytology. Indian J Clin Pract 2013;24:472-7.  Back to cited text no. 16
Lee TK. The value of imprint cytology in tumor diagnosis: A retrospective study of 522 cases in northern China. Acta Cytol 1982;26:169-71.  Back to cited text no. 17

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