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Cytology Specimen & Testing Information

Please order Cytology Requisition Forms through Lawson, #51361.

Biliary Tract Cytology

Available on the Body Fluid Panel - LAB CYTOLOGY AND CELL BLOCK (with indication of source needed).

Days and Times Tested: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday-Friday
Please Note: Specimens received after 4 p.m., on weekends or on holidays should be taken to the hospital lab processing area.

Specimen Collection and Requirements:
If the specimen is collected for Cytology and FISH testing, the specimen can be totally submitted in a labeled thin prep vial containing 20mL of PreservCyt or CytoLyt. (The cytology prep room has a supply of these vials.)

If the specimen is collected for Cytology only, the specimen can be submitted in a labeled specimen container with CytoLyt Red Fixative.

  1. A pre-printed label can be used and write the date of collection and source/site on the label.
  2. If a label is not available: Legibly write the patient's full name, medical record # or DOB, source/site and date of collection on the label.
  3. Place in specimen transport bag with a completed requisition form. 
  4. All specimens should be taken to the Histology Lab as soon after collection as possible.

Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) Cytology

Days and Times Tested: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday-Friday
Please Note: Specimens received after 4 p.m., on weekends or on holidays should be taken to the hospital accessions area.

Specimen Collection and Requirements:
After each aspirate is obtained, express syringe contents into the CytoLyt container. Aspirate the CytoLyt into the syringe and expel back into the container several times to clear the needle.

  1. Container can be labeled with a pre-printed label or legibly hand written to include: Patient full name, medical record # or DOB, specimen source/site and needle pass number (if applicable) and place in a specimen transport bag with a completed requisition form.
  2. Take the FNA container(s) to the Cytology prep lab as soon after collection as possible. All requisitions should be filled out completely, including patient name, clinic number, specimen source, date of birth, ordering physician, room number/department/branch, collection date, and any pertinent clinical history. Cytology cannot process a specimen without a completed requisition form.

Non - GYN Cytology Specimens

Available on the Body Fluid Panel - LAB CYTOLOGY ADN CELL BLOCK (with indication of source needed).

Days and Times Tested: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday-Friday
Please Note: Specimens received after 4 p.m., on weekends or on holidays should be taken to the hospital accessions area.

Specimen Collection and Requirements:
Small Specimens (50ml or less):

  1. Mix specimen directly with approximately 30ml of CytoLyt solution.
  2. Any instrument used to obtain the specimen should be swirled or rinsed several times in the CytoLyt solution.
  3. Container can be labeled with a pre-printed label or legibly hand written to include: Patient full name, med rec # or DOB, specimen source (preferably permanent marker) and collection date.
  4. Place in a specimen transport bag.
  5. Specimens with orders for a cell block should be labeled with a teal "Cytology and Cell block required" sticker.
  6. Complete Body Fluid order in Epic.
  7. All specimens should be taken to the Histology lab as soon after collection as possible.

Large Specimens (more than 50ml)

  1. Pour approximately 50ml of specimen into 30ml of CytoLyt solution.
  2. Both fixed (in CytoLyt) and remaining unfixed specimens should be taken to the Histology lab immediately to prevent possible clotting and degeneration before processing.
  3. Label specimen container with patient name and specimen source (preferably with permanent marker) and place in a specimen transport bag. Specimens with orders for a cell block should be labeled with a teal "Cytology and Cell block required" sticker.
  4. Complete Body Fluid Order in Epic.
  5. All specimens should be taken to the Histology lab as soon after collection as possible.

Pap Test

Small Cellular Yield Cytology Specimens

Days and Times Tested: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday-Friday
Please Note: Specimens received after 4 p.m., on weekends or on holidays should be taken to the hospital accessions area.

Specimen Collection and Requirements:

  1. Occasionally an instrument is required to scrape the specimen. Gently scrape the source and as evenly as possible distribute the specimen onto the slide. Label the slide (using a #2 lead pencil) with 2 patient identifiers: Full Patient Name and Medical Record number or DOB.
  2. Deposit the labeled slide into a cytology container (pap smear jar) containing 95% alcohol fixative or allow the slide to air dry. The container must be labeled with the patient's name and the specimen source.
  3. A completed Cytology requisition form must accompany each specimen. Be sure to fill out completely; including patient name, clinic number, specimen source, date of birth, ordering physician, room number/department/branch, collection date, and any pertinent clinical history. Cytology cannot process a specimen without a completed requisition form.
  4. Place the specimen in a transport bag and take to the Cytology prep lab as soon after collection as possible.

Additional Comments: Small cellular yield specimens (nipple discharge, herpetic lesions, etc) can be collected by touching the slide onto the specimen source.

Sputum Cytology

Days and Times Tested: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday-Friday
Please Note: Specimens received after 4 p.m., on weekends or on holidays should be taken to the hospital accessions area.

Specimen Collection and Requirements:
A cytology sputum specimen should be collected by the patient in the early morning before eating or drinking. The deep cough specimen should be deposited in a container of CytoLyt. Up to three specimens may be ordered at one time. Collect a sample each morning and send all the samples at one time to the lab with a separate requisition for each sample. A computer-generated label may be used on collection vials. Include collection date. Otherwise legibly write on all containers: Patient full name, medical record # or DOB, and specimen source/site directly on the container.

  1. Fill out up to three Cytology requisition forms (one for each specimen). All requisitions should be filled out completely, including patient name, clinic number, specimen source, date of birth, ordering physician, room number/department/branch, collection date, and any pertinent clinical history. Cytology cannot process a specimen without a completed requisition form.
  2. Place specimens in a transport bag and take to the Cytology prep lab as soon after collection as possible.

Urine/Bladder Wash Cytology

Days and Times Tested: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday-Friday.
Please Note: Specimens received after 4 p.m., on weekends, or on holidays should be taken to hospital accessions area.

Specimen Collection and Processing Requirements:

  1. After the specimen has been collected, pour up to 50ml of the specimen into a container of CytoLyt.
  2. A computer-generated label may be used for patient identification on the collection vial. Otherwise label the specimen container legibly with patient's full name and medical record # or DOB and specimen source (preferably with permanent marker). Please indicate whether it is voided urine, catheterized urine, or a bladder wash.
  3. Complete body fluid order in Epic.
  4. Place the container in a specimen transport bag and take to the Histology lab as soon after collection as possible.

Additional Information: Voided Urine: If specimen is to be a voided urine do not collect the first voided urine of the morning, as there may be too much cellular deterioration for an adequate assessment. If the order is for voided urine cytology x3, please collect three morning samples (not the first) of urine obtained on consecutive days.

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