By Jaleh Mansouri, M.D.
LABORATORY CONSUMABLES: CYTOLOGY SOLUTIONS
As in the case of histologic tissue preparation, the process of preparing and preserving cells for cytologic interpretation is of paramount importance in achieving an accurate pathologic diagnosis. During the last couple of decades, conventional cytology preparations / smears have been largely replaced by liquid based cytology (LBC) such as the SurePath and Thin-Prep systems. Both of these LBC systems incorporate multiple steps comprised of cell collection and preservation, filtration, and the creation of a cell monolayer enclosed within a 13 mm (SurePath) or 20 mm (ThinPrep) diameter circle. This process allows for optimal cell morphology as well as the preservation of representative cytologic material. LBC systems utilize cytologic methanol-based solutions such as CytoLyt and PreservCyt for the preservation of cells during collection and transport, and the lysis of blood and other materials that may obscure cellular detail.
The advent of LBC systems has facilitated the implementation of other innovations in cytology. One example is the use of automated imaging technology in the pathologic evaluation of the standardized cell monolayers. Improvements in cell preservation have also enabled the adaptation of a wide array of molecular testing kits such as UroVysion. The UroVysion Bladder Cancer Kit screens for aneuploidy in bladder cells present in urine to aid in the detection of urothelial carcinoma.
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