Quantitative sputum cytologic findings in 109 nonsmokers

Am Rev Respir Dis. 1989 Mar;139(3):601-3. doi: 10.1164/ajrccm/139.3.601.


While sputum cytologic findings associated with cigarette smoking have been described, little information is available regarding nonsmokers for comparative analysis. Over a 3-month period, our cytopathology laboratory examined 3-day pooled sputa from 109 never smokers. Eighty-five percent were able to produce satisfactory results without recourse to induction. Ninety of 93 (97%) individuals had negative or reactive sputum cytologic findings. No carcinoma was identified. Two cases showed metaplastic changes and one case revealed dysplasia but all were from symptomatic never smokers. Eight components of stimulation of bronchial epithelium were microscopically quantified on each case and the mean values of each were calculated to produce a profile of an asymptomatic never smoker.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Metaplasia
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values
  • Smoking
  • Sputum / cytology*