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Liquid based cytology
Reviewer: Marilin Rosa, M.D., University of Florida (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 6 October 2010, last major update August 2010
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● Head of spatula, where cells are lodged, is broken off into small glass vial containing preservative fluid, or rinsed directly into preservative fluid
● Sample is sent to lab, then spun and treated to remove mucus, pus or other obscuring material
● Random sample of remaining cells is taken and deposited onto a slide
● Reduces number of inadequate smears and need for repeat smears
● Thin-Prep appears to be superior to convention Pap test in detecting SIL (Arch Pathol Lab Med 2003;127:200, Arch Pathol Lab Med 1999;123:817, Mod Pathol 1998;11:837)
● Approved by US Food and Drug Administration in May 1996
● Major companies are Hologic (ThinPath) and BD-TriPath (SurePath)
● Can use residual material to prepare cell blocks and for immunohistochemistry (Cancer 2004;102:142)
Smearing and slide preparation
Cervix-cytology > Liquid based cytology
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