Vaginal Cytology and Ovarian Status

  • John W. Everett
Part of the Monographs on Endocrinology book series (ENDOCRINOLOGY, volume 32)


Beginning with studies reported by Everett (1939), more than one million vaginal smears from over 16,000 rats have been prepared and evaluated in the author’s laboratory during approximately 5 decades. It is appropriate to consider criteria for evaluating the smears and their relationship to ovarian function. Our criteria are based on the five stages of the estrous cycle of rats described by Long and Evans (1922) and presented here in Table 1 essentially as originally summarized. It is important to recognize that each stage represents a stop-action in a steadily moving process. The stages are to be regarded as indirect and somewhat delayed measures of ovarian hormone output. Thus, in general terms, the rise of estrogen in late diestrus results in proliferation of the vaginal epithelium to give the dry, velvety appearance characterizing proestrus (stages I and II).


Estrous Cycle Cornified Cell Vaginal Smear Ovarian Status Vaginal Cytology 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • John W. Everett
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurobiologyDuke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA

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