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Email drosenthal@jhmi.edu
Phone (410) 550-4841

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Division of Cytopathology

Dorothy L. Rosenthal, M.D.

Primary Appointment in Pathology; Secondary Appointments in Oncology and Gynecology-Obstetrics

As a clinically-oriented cytopathologist, my research efforts are directed at answering diagnostic questions which are difficult or impossible when relying solely on morphologic features. Cervico-vaginal specimens (Pap smears) are perhaps the most challenging samples facing the cytologist. I have devoted much of my career to seeking ways to augment light microscopic diagnoses via computers. Neural networks combined with traditional image processing techniques have shown promise for automated scanning of slides. The ability of such systems to detect rare abnormal cells for human verification is currently being validated, but they promise to reduce the error rate of Pap Test interpretation. Our cytologists continue to be involved in the development of these devices.

Identification of molecular markers to diagnose high grade pre-malignant lesions (HSIL) of the uterine cervix is an exciting collaborative effort with members of our division and with TriPath Oncology, a subsidiary of TriPath Imaging. Not only will the markers enable location of rare HSIL cells on Pap tests, but they may be able to predict those women who are destined for cervical cancer without intervention. The intended goal is to accurately diagnose and avoid over treatment.


Rosenthal DL: Automation and the Endangered Future of the Pap Test (invited Commentary), JNCI 90:738-749, 1998.

ASCUS/LSIL Triage Study (ALTS)Group. Rosenthal DL, member of Pathology QC Group. Comparison of Three Management Strategies for Patients with Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance: Baseline Results from a Randomized Trial. JNCI 93(4):293-299, 2001.

ASCUS/LSIL Triage Study (ALTS) Group. Rosenthal DL, member of Pathology QC Group. HPV DNA remains detectable longer than related cervical cytologic abnormalities. J Infect Dis 2002;186:1169-72.

Levi AW, Kelly DP, Rosenthal DL, Ronnett BM. Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance (ASC-US) in Liquid-Based Cytologic Specimens: Results of Reflex HPV Testing and Histologic Follow-up in Routine Practice with Comparison of Interpretive and Probablistic Reporting Methods. Cancer Cytopath 2003;99:191-7.

Trimble CL, Richards LA, Wilgus-Weigweiser B, Plowden K, Rosenthal DL, Klassen A. Effectiveness of Screening for Cervical Cancer in an Inpatient Hospital Setting. Obstet Gynecol. 2004;103:310-16.


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