Objective: To describe findings in vitreous fluid samples in routine cytology practice. Study Design: The pathology archives from 1988 to 2008 at our institution were searched for vitreous samples. The slides were reviewed and clinical and follow-up information was obtained. Results: One hundred and eighty-two vitreous fluid samples from 166 patients were analyzed. Most of the samples had been collected for vitreous hemorrhage (75 cases). The second reason for vitreous sample cytological evaluation was an intraocular inflammatory process (55 cases). A specific cause of inflammation was found by combining clinical, microbiological and cytopathological findings in 19 cases, i.e. infection in 7, sarcoidosis in 3, retinal necrosis in 3, lens-induced endophthalmitis in 2, uveitis associated with systemic disease in 2, retrobulbar neuritis in 1 and sympathetic ophthalmia in 1. Among the 19 samples from 16 patients collected to rule out malignancy, 8 had a confirmed intraocular malignancy. Malignant cells were observed in 5 cases (3 lymphomas, 1 melanoma and 1 carcinoma). Undiagnosed malignancies included 2 lymphomas and 1 choroidal melanoma. Other samples were collected during surgery for retinal detachment and cataracts. Conclusions: In routine practice, cytology of the vitreous fluid is performed in many and varied situations that are most often nonneoplastic. In nonneoplastic cases, cytology is a useful adjunct to vitrectomy, in spite of its limitations.

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