Cytologic diagnosis has several advantages over other diagnostic methods:

  • Rapid
  • Less expensive
  • Less traumatic
  • Can sample wider areas, or areas inaccessible by biopsy
  • Less artifactual distortion of cellular features

The UC Davis Cytopathology Laboratory is accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), participates in the CAP proficiency testing program, and fully complies with the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA 88).

The Cytopathology Laboratory provides diagnostic evaluation, cervical cancer screening and consultations for rapid diagnosis or second opinion on challenging cases across the entire spectrum of cytology specimens,  including:

  • Exfoliative cytology: Body cavity fluids, cerebrospinal fluid, urine, sputum, brushings, washings, scrapings.
  • Fine-needle aspiration biopsy cytology (FNA):   In addition to reviewing samples collected by clinicians, our staff pathologists also perform FNA on out-patients referred to our FNA clinic at UC Davis Cancer Center as well as in-patients at the UC Davis Medical Center. On-site adequacy assessments are also provided by cytotechnologists for image-directed FNAs performed in the ultrasound and CT suites.
  • Gynecologic samples (Pap Test): The UC Davis Cytopathology Laboratory pioneered the use of liquid-based collection and monolayer slides. Today, Thinprep© liquid-based cytology system is used for all of of our gyn cytology specimens.  FDA approved high risk HPV testing is available from residual gynecologic cytology material, eliminating the need to recall the patient for a second collection and in line with current ASCCP Guidelines. 

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