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Cytology is the microscopic evaluation of cells that are spontaneously exfoliated or physically removed from human tissues.  Cervicovaginal cytology (Pap smear) has a role in the detection of premalignant changes or early cancer of the uterine cervix.

All specimens submitted to the Cytology Laboratory must be appropriately labeled and accompanied by a completed requisition.  Adequate history and clinical information are integral parts of the cytologic evaluation of specimens.  Proper collection, fixation and preparation of the cytologic specimen are essential for accurate evaluation of the sample.

The Pap smear is a screening test effective in the detection of pre-malignant changes of the uterine cervix.  Repeated periodic testing and follow up of results are essential due to the occurrence of false negative results.  False negative results may occur due to sampling errors, screening difficulties inherent to the method or due to the subjective interpretation of the cellular changes in the smear.  Similarly, false positive results may also occur.

The Cytology Laboratory accepts liquid based preparations (Hologic's ThinPrep® and BDs SurePath™); results are reported according to the Bethesda System.

For quality assurance purposes, the liquid based Paps processed by Hologic's ThinPrep® method are subjected to a primary screening by the ThinPrep® Imaging System that identifies those areas of the slide most likely to have abnormalities. The slide is then manually reviewed by a cytotechnologist, who focuses their interpretive skills on the area identified by the imager.

All abnormal smears, both Hologic’s ThinPrep and BDs SurePath liquid based are reviewed by a pathologist.

Key Personnel

  • Anne Rader, M.D., Anatomic Pathology, Clinical Pathology and Cytopathology, Director, Cytopathology, 503-692-7631

  • Mitchell Ryan, M.D., Anatomic Pathology, Clinical Pathology and Cytopathology, 503-944-7908

  • David Glidden, M.D., Anatomic Pathology, Clinical Pathology and Cytopathology, 503-944-7949

  • Wendy Lee, CT(ASCP), Supervisor, Cytology, 503-413-5183, FAX: 503-413-5035