Pap Test: Collecting Cells in Liquid

Topic Overview

Liquid-based methods for collecting cervical cells and preparing them for laboratory evaluation are available.

A sample of cervical cells is collected during aPap test. Then the cells are rinsed in a liquid vial (instead of being smeared on slides). The vials are taken to the laboratory, and a thin layer of the specimen is put on slides for microscopic examination. Only a small portion of the sample is used for the slide, so the remainder of the cell sample can be used for any further testing, such as ahuman papillomavirus (HPV) test.

These methods can produce false-positive results just like standard Pap tests. These methods cost more than standard Pap testing.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerSarah A. Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerKevin C. Kiley, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology

Current as ofOctober 6, 2017