Exfoliated cells are fragile and degenerate quickly. Therefore, immediate fixation of the material to be studied is essential. A spray fix such as Spray-Cyte is recommended. Glove powder and lubricants may make slides impossible to read. Therefore, slides must be prepared without introducing these contaminants.

Prepare one slide per patient; write the patient's name and unit number on the frosted end of the slide with a lead pencil. Note: specimens submitted without the patient's name written on the frosted end of the slide with pencil will be considered unlabeled and be rejected.

  1. Conventional Cytology Smear (glass slide):

    Obtain the specimen with a brush (preferred), broom or spatula, lightly scraping the entire endocervix (360° degree sweep). Specimen collection with cotton swab is strongly discouraged, as the cellular material adheres to the fibers and increased drying artifact may be introduced, thus producing a less than optimal sample. Spread the obtained material evenly and smoothly on the glass slide. Spray the slide immediately after preparation with spray fix.

  2. SurePath Pap Test (liquid based prep:)

    Obtain the specimen with a Rovers Cervix Broom. Insert the tip of the broom into the endocervix, and apply moderate pressure until the sides of the broom are evenly splayed out against the surface of the ectocervix. Rotate the broom while maintaining even pressure, clockwise 5 times. Withdraw the broom and place the entire head of the boom into the SurePath Pap Test vial containing cyto-fixative. The head of the broom will separate from the blue handle by application of downward pressure at the collar of the white broom head. Cap the SurePath Pap Test vial securely and label with the patient’s name, medical record number and date of collection.

Clinical History

Give name, date of birth, date of last menstruation and brief clinical history on the laboratory. The date of collection must be noted on the requisition. Specimens received without adequate history may be rejected as unsatisfactory or considered less than optimal for evaluation. Please include a valid Physician Index Number and ICD-9 Diagnosis code.

Cyto-hormonal Evaluation (Performed on Conventional Smears only)

Write the patient's name and unit number on the frosted end of the specimen with a lead pencil. Obtain material from the lateral wall of the upper third of the vagina. Fix the smear immediately with Spray-Fix. Completely fill out the request slip to accompany specimen, including drug and hormone administration.