The Cytology service prepares and evaluates cells from any anatomic site in order to diagnose pathologic conditions. The most common test performed in cytology is the Pap test. Cells of the uterine cervix are sampled using a brush and/or scraper and are deposited in either a liquid preservative (ThinPrep Pap) or smeared on a slide (conventional Pap).
Non-gynecologic specimens are obtained from any other anatomic site with a brush, scraper, or washing technique. Non-gynecologic specimens can be obtained from the respiratory system (bronchial brushes and washes), gastrointestinal system (brushes or washes), genitourinary system (voided urines, catheterized urines, brushes and washes), and fluids (from the pleural space, peritoneal space, or pericardial space). The Cytology Laboratory also receives, prepares, and interprets scrape preparations of sentinel lymph nodes in an inoperative setting.
The Cytology service also evaluates fine needle biopsies, which can be performed on any lesion or site that can be localized by either palpation or by utilizing diagnostic radiologic techniques. In addition, the Cytopathologists at Beaumont Laboratory provide retrieval services of fine needle biopsies of palpable lesions. The specimens are prepared by Cytology support personnel and interpreted by the Cytopathologist who performed the fine needle biopsy.
The Cytology Laboratory supports both outreach services as well as multiple hospital departments. The Cytology service is available for all on-site procedures that require cytologic evaluation (fine needle aspiration specimens and non-gynecologic specimens) for diagnostic radiology, surgery, endoscopy, in-patients, cancer treatment center, breast center, etc.) These services provide timely diagnoses for patients and physicians including rush procedures for adequacy and/or diagnosis. Cytology specimens typically are less invasive and more cost effective than surgical interventions and are performed to help identify and stage the pathologic process prior to surgical procedures.
The Cytology Laboratory receives all specimen types Monday through Friday. Pap specimens are complete within 3 working days of receipt. Non-gynecologic and fine needle aspiration specimens are complete within 24-36 hours.