Carolinas HealthCare System

Cytology

Cytology is the microscopic recognition of normal and abnormal cells, including (but not limited to) malignant neoplasms, pre-cancerous lesions, infectious agents and inflammatory processes in gynecologic, non-gynecologic and fine needle aspiration specimens.

Cytotechnologists, clinical laboratory assistants and cytopathologists from Carolinas Pathology Group staff the cytology department, which performs about 100,000 tests annually. Pap smears account for 90 percent of the cytology department's tests. The cytology department offers SurePath liquid based pap testing as well as FocalPoint automated screening technology. Both SurePath pap smear and FocalPoint automated screening technology are products of TriPath Imaging (www.tripathimaging.com). SurePath and FocalPoint benefits include:

  • 100 percent of specimen retained for testing
  • significant reduction in "unsatisfactory" results with the ability to remove blood and inflammation during specimen processing
  • reduction of false negative rates with the use of the FocalPoint automated screening technology
  • ability to perform additional testing, such as HPV testing, from sample.

HPV testing is available for liquid-based Pap smears and is performed on-site in our molecular pathology department resulting in a consolidated report combining the Pap smear and HPV test results.

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