Cytology: The medical and scientific study of cells. Cytology refers to a branch of pathology, the medical specialty that deals with making diagnoses of diseases and conditions through the examination of tissue samples from the body.
Cytologic examinations may be performed on body fluids (examples are blood, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid) or on material that is aspirated (drawn out via suction into a syringe) from the body. Cytology also can involve examinations of preparations that are scraped or washed (irrigated with a sterile solution) from specific areas of the body. For example, a common example of diagnostic cytology is the evaluation of cervical smears (referred to as the Papanicolaou test or Pap smear).
In order for cytologic evaluation to be carried out, the material to be examined is spread onto glass slides and stained. A pathologist then uses a microscope to examine the individual cells in the sample.
- Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
A virus that infects 50-85% of adults in the US by age 40 and is also the virus most frequently transmitted to a child before birth. Persons with symptoms have a mononucleosis-like syndrome with prolonged fever and mild hepatitis. Once a person becomes infected, the virus remains alive and usually dormant within that person’s body […]
- Cytometry, flow
Cytometry, flow: Analysis of biological material via detection of the light-absorbing or fluorescing properties of cells, or of subcellular fractions such as chromosomes, as they pass in a narrow stream through a laser beam. Flow cytometry can be used with automated sorting devices to sort successive droplets of a stream into different fractions, depending on […]
- Cytosine (C)
Cytosine (C): One member of the G-C (guanine-cytosine) pair of bases in DNA.
cytosis: 1. Suffix referring to cells, as in anisocytosis (inequality in the size of red blood cells), elliptocytosis (elliptical red cells), and phagocytosis (ingestion of cells). 2. Suffix connoting an increase in cells, as in leukocytosis (increase in white blood cells) and lymphocytosis (increase in lymphocytes).
Cytotoxic: Toxic to cells, cell-toxic, cell-killing. Any agent or process that kills cells. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are forms of cytotoxic therapy. They kill cells. The prefix cyto- denotes a cell. It comes from the Greek kytos meaning hollow, as a cell or container. Toxic is from the Greek toxikon = arrow poison.