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May 10, 1965

Fluorescence Microscopy in the Cytodiagnosis of Cancer

JAMA. 1965;192(6):577. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080190143045

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In a foreword we find the statement that "fluorescence microscopy is not a technique but an art," requiring a "mental attitude sensitive to color, shading, and design, as well as an ability to determine analytical interpretation of the image." This is an appropriate observation in relation to this uncommonly handsome book, in which the spectacular colors of acridine-orange stained cells are brilliantly reproduced. The authors have also succeeded in devising remarkably clear diagrams and graphs to explain the physical and chemical nature of the fluorescence phenomenon.

First the authors illustrate the acridine-orange staining technique applied to smears and tissues of both rat and human genital tracts. This is followed by a comparison of results obtained from study of Papanicolaou and acridine-orange preparations of cervical smears from 5,474 patients, 132 of whom had carcinoma. The two methods each detected abnormalities in 127. In the category of "suspicious" cytologic results a somewhat

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