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A Pap smear reveals the hyphal form of Candida albicans.

A vaginal wet mount (using KOH) or a Pap smear (as seen here) reveals hyphal forms.

Often the organism is best found wrapped up in a loose aggregate of squamous cells. Hyphae with buds can be seen along the edges of the group.


The most common causes of symptomatic vaginitis are bacterial vaginosis (40-45%), vulvovaginal candidiasis (20-25%), and trichomoniasis (15-20%) (Gor).

Most cases of vaginal candidiasis is caused by Candida albicans, but in 5-10% of cases, it is caused by Candida glabrata or Candida parapsilosis. Typical symptoms include pruritus, thick white vaginal discharge and dysuria. Risk factors include pregnancy, recent use of antibiotics, use of spermicides, diabetes and other immunocompromised conditions.


Vaginal topical applications of antifungal medications are available over the counter. In addition, a single dose oral antifungal therapy is available and commonly prescribed. For women with recurrent infections, prolonged course or even suppression therapy may be employed.


While most symptomatic patients do experience relief with therapy, there is a significant risk of long term recurrence, especially in women with chronic predisposing conditions.


Esophagus : Candidiasis

Vulva : Candidiasis


Gor Hetal. Vaginitis: eMedicine. Last updated May 19th 2020. Available at:

Nucci MR, Oliva Esther. Gynecologic Pathology: Foundations in Diagnostic Pathology. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier: 2009: 78-9.

Last updated: 2011-01-18
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