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Cytologic evaluation


Cytologic evaluation is the analysis under a microscope of cells collected from a part of the body. This is done to determine what the cells look like, and how they form and function.

The test is usually used to look for cancers and precancerous changes. It may also be used to look for viral infections in cells. The test differs from a biopsy in that only cells are examined, not pieces of tissue .

The Pap smear is a common cytologic evaluation that looks at cells from the cervix. Some other examples include:

Alternative Names

Cell evaluation; Cytology

Review Date: 8/16/2011
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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