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Use of Cytology in the Diagnosis of Basal Cell Carcinoma Subtypes

Dermatology Department, Pius Hospital de Valls, 43800 Tarragona, Spain
Dermatology Department, Hospital Ramón y Cajal, 28034 Madrid, Spain
Dermatology Department, Hospital Clinic de Barcelona, IDIBAPS, University of Barcelona, Spain & CIBERER Barcelona, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
Eldine Patología, 43006 Tarragona, Spain
Medicine and Medical Specialties Department, Alcalá University, 28801 Madrid, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(3), 612;
Received: 18 January 2020 / Revised: 14 February 2020 / Accepted: 18 February 2020 / Published: 25 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Current Advances on Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer)
Background: Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the most common skin cancer in the white population. Nonsurgical treatments are first-line alternatives in superficial BCC (sBCC); therefore, differentiating between sBCC and non-sBCC is of major relevance for the clinician. Scraping cytology possesses several advantages, such as an earlier diagnosis and scarring absence, in comparison to a biopsy. Nevertheless, previous studies reported difficulties in differentiating the different BCC subtypes. The objective of this study was to determine the capability and accuracy of scraping cytology to differentiate between sBCC and non-sBCC. Methods: In this retrospective study, cytological samples of histologically confirmed BCC were examined. Select cytological features were correlated to BCC subtypes (sBCC or non-sBCC). Results: A total of 84 BCC samples were included (29 sBCC; 55 non-sBCC). An inverse correlation between the diagnosis of sBCC and the presence of mucin, dehiscence, and grade of atypia in the basal cells was observed. The presence of medium and large basal cell clusters correlated directly to a sBCC diagnosis. The presence of clear cells is strongly associated with sBCC. Therefore, Conclusion: Scraping cytology is reliable in differentiating sBCC from other BCC subtypes. View Full-Text
Keywords: skin cancer; diagnosis; cytology; basal cell carcinoma skin cancer; diagnosis; cytology; basal cell carcinoma
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pasquali, P.; Segurado-Miravalles, G.; Castillo, M.; Fortuño, Á.; Puig, S.; González, S. Use of Cytology in the Diagnosis of Basal Cell Carcinoma Subtypes. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 612.

AMA Style

Pasquali P, Segurado-Miravalles G, Castillo M, Fortuño Á, Puig S, González S. Use of Cytology in the Diagnosis of Basal Cell Carcinoma Subtypes. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2020; 9(3):612.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pasquali, Paola, Gonzalo Segurado-Miravalles, Mar Castillo, Ángeles Fortuño, Susana Puig, and Salvador González. 2020. "Use of Cytology in the Diagnosis of Basal Cell Carcinoma Subtypes" Journal of Clinical Medicine 9, no. 3: 612.

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