maturation index

maturation index
the ratio between three different types of cells shed from the vaginal squamous epithelium, done from a random sample. The cell types are parabasal cells, intermediate cells, and superficial cells, and the ratio between them varies at different times in the normal menstrual cycle or in a woman's life (such as before and after menopause). A predominance of parabasal cells indicates absence of estrogen stimulation, and a predominance of superficial cells indicates presence of estrogen stimulation.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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