In histologic sections, foreign body giant cells are often associated with a granulomatous reaction to embedded suture material. However, this finding is unusual in exfoliative cytology samples. We describe the cytologic findings associated with suture granulomas in nine vaginal smears obtained from four women, ages 53 to 72. The patients had undergone hysterectomy for endometrial adenocarcinoma (three patients) and cervical carcinoma in situ (one patient). Smears taken 6 to 34 mo after surgery showed a moderate to severe acute inflammatory reaction, foreign body giant cells, and polarizable suture material. A vaginal cuff biopsy from one patient confirmed the diagnosis. Although multinucleated giant cells in postmenopausal vaginal smears are usually a non‐specific finding, phagocytosed refractile material observed post hysterectomy may reflect a chronic tissue reaction to suture material. The presence of an acute inflammatory reaction, foreign body type giant cells, and the appropriate past surgical history, should prompt the pathologist to rapidly screen the slide under polarized light to evaluate the possibility of suture granulomas. © 1995 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
- Foreign body
- Vaginal smear
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine