Significance of Compression in Binucleation while Differentiating Reactive Cellular Changes Between Human Papillomavirus and Candida Infections

Document Type: Research Articles


1 Department of Medical technology, Faculty of Health Sciences, Kyorin University, Japan.

2 School of Medical Technology, Faculty of Health Science, Gumma Paz University, Japan.

3 Fukui Maternity Clinic, Japan.

4 ILABO Cyto STD Laboratory, Inc, Japan.

5 Genki Plaza Medical Center for Health Care, Japan.


Purpose: Binucleation is a reactive cellular change (RCC) in Pap smears due to Candida infection. However, the origin of these binucleated cells as RCCs remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to examine binucleation in patients negative for intraepithelial lesion or malignancy (NILM) and infected with Candida and those infected with high-risk human papillomavirus (hr-HPV) and to clarify the origin of the binucleated cells. Methods: A total of 115 endocervical swab specimens with a combined diagnosis of NILM, Candida infection, and RCCs were used for this study. Pap smears were used to identify binucleated cells and then separate them into two groups, compression-positive and compression-negative. In addition, hr-HPV was detected using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with a specific primer on the DNA extracted from the remaining residual cytology specimens. To make the hr-HPV-infected binucleated cells visible, an in situ PCR assay was performed on the Pap smear. Result: Of the 115 specimens, 69.6% contained binucleated cells, 26 (32.5%) showed only the compressed form, 35 (43.8%) showed only the non-compressed form, and 19 showed both the compressed and non-compressed forms of binucleated cells. Also, 34 specimens (29.6%) were positive for hr-HPV. The sensitivity and specificity of compression-positive binucleated cells were 91.2% and 82.7% (p < 0.001), but they were not significant in the compression-negative group (p = 0.156). Also, 34 cases with hr-HPV contained 99 compression-positive and 24 compression-negative cells. The hr-HPV-positive cells accounted for 68 (68.7%) of the 99 compression-positive and 2 (8.3%) of the 24 compression-negative binucleated cells as determined by an in situ PCR assay for hr-HPV. The relationship between compression and hr-HPV was statistically significant (p < 0.001). Conclusion: Compression-positive binucleated cells may be present as a result of hr-HPV infection and not RCC, which is caused due to inflammation in NILM cases infected with Candida.


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