Author: Farnaz Hasteh, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 29 March 2017, last major update October 2010

Copyright: (c) 2006-2017, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.

PubMed search: Cervix Actinomycosis

Cite this page: Actinomycosis. PathologyOutlines.com website. http://pathologyoutlines.com/topic/cervixcytologyactinomycosis.html. Accessed April 24th, 2017.
Definition / General
  • Also called "dust bunnies" or "Gupta bodies"
  • Rarely identified in Pap Test (< 1%)
  • Can be found in culture of 25% of asymptomatic patients
  • Actinomyces Israeli is most common subtype (normal flora of the mouth and bowel)
  • Associated with IUD (common) or rarely with other objects (pessaries, tampon)
  • Copper containing IUD and long term use are major risk factors
Clinical Features
  • Asymptomatic
  • Malodorous brown discharge
  • Pain with invasive disease and PID (pelvic inflammatory disease)
  • Removal of IUD for asymptomatic women
  • Removal of IUD and antibodies for symptomatic women
Micro Description
  • Gram positive non-acid fast branching filamentous bacteria
Cytology Description
  • Aggregates of pseudofilamentous material, often with acute angle branching
  • May have wooly appearance; periphery may contain swollen filaments with clubs
Cytology Images

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IUD related changes

Differential Diagnosis
  • Other filamentous organisms (Leptothrix, Aspergillus)
  • Cockleburs (degenerate radiate crystals associated with pregnancy, IUDs, birth control pills)