Which microscopic findings are characteristic of bacterial vaginosis (BV)?

Updated: Oct 25, 2018
  • Author: Philippe H Girerd, MD; Chief Editor: Michel E Rivlin, MD  more...
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Answer

The vaginal discharge of patients with BV is notable for its lack of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs), typically 1 or less than 1 PMN per vaginal epithelial cell.

Diagnosing BV accurately is more difficult when a coinfection is present. However, finding an increase in the number of PMNs per epithelial cell may lead the clinician to consider BV as a possibility.


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