Chromosome in situ hybridisation, Ki-67, and telomerase immunocytochemistry in liquid based cervical cytology

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To assess the potential value of chromosome in situ hybridisation (CISH), Ki-67, and telomerase immunocytochemistry in liquid based cervical cytology to help detect carcinoma cells and precursors.


Sixty ThinPrep processed cervical cytology samples were studied: 23 cases within the normal limit, 13 low grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSILs), 10 high grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSILs), six squamous cell carcinomas, three endocervical adenocarcinomas, two cervical adenosquamous cell carcinomas, and three endometrial adenocarcinomas. CISH was performed with DNA probes specific for the pericentromeric regions of chromosome 11 and 16. Hybridisation signals were visualised with the streptavidin–biotin peroxidase technique. The monoclonal MIB1 and polyclonal TRT-H231 antibodies were used to detect Ki-67 and telomerase immunoreactivity, respectively.


Non-specific background staining was almost absent in CISH slides. Normal squamous and glandular cells showed a diploid chromosomal pattern. A relative gain in chromosomes 11 and 16 (aneusomy) was seen in HSIL and the carcinomas (p<0.0001). In MIB1 stained smears, normal cells and koilocytes showed inconspicuous immunoreactivity, whereas strongly immunoreactive nuclei were found in cancer cells and HSIL (p<0.0001). Not only carcinoma and HSIL cells, but also some normal cells, showed cytoplasmic staining for telomerase.


These preliminary results indicate that ThinPrep processed cervical smears are suitable for CISH and immunocytochemical studies. The neoplastic squamous and glandular cells were easily identified based on nuclear aneusomy and strong Ki-67 immuoreactivity in the context of abnormal nuclear morphology. This is the first study to apply CISH in cervical cytology using an immunoenzymatic approach.

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