Origin of ascus
New Latin, from Greek askos wineskin, bladder
First Known Use: 1830
Medical Definition of ASCUS
atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance ◆ASCUS is a diagnosis used in cytology to describe the presence of abnormal squamous cells in a Pap smear test. Upon staining, these cells exhibit an atypical appearance (as enlarged nuclei or irregular shape) that cannot definitively be classified as benign or precancerous. <Many physicians believe that combining the Pap test with direct virus testing may prove particularly useful when a pap test comes back with its most common indeterminate result, called ASCUS—atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance.—Jerome Groopman, The New Yorker, 13 Sept. 1999> <Currently, there is no consensus on what to do with ASCUS patients, only 5% to 10% of whom actually have precancerous cells.—Rita Rubin, USA Today, 21 Feb. 2001>
Variants of ascus
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