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Conjunctival Scraping

Test indication: Detection and characterization of inflammatory/infectious processes of the conjunctiva.

Methodology: Routine cytopathologic evaluation.
Performed: Monday-Friday.
Reported: 1 day.

Specimen required: Direct smear of material collected from the conjunctival surface.

Supplies: Two clean glass slides, fixative (95% ethanol), conjunctival scraping spatula and test request form.

Collection procedure: Label the slides with the patient’s first and last name and specimen source, in pencil, on the frosted end and place in a container filled with 95% ethanol so that the slides are completely covered. Gently scrape the area of abnormality. Remove one of the slides from the fixative. Quickly and evenly smear the collected material on one of the glass slides. Immediately re-immerse the slide in fixative. For better diagnostic yield we recommend that the process be repeated with a second slide. Submit the specimen and the completed request form to the Cytopathology Laboratory.

Transport: Fixed smears should be submitted in slide mailer(s), clearly labeled with patient name and specimen site(s). Slides in fixative should be submitted in leak proof container(s) that protect against breakage and clearly labeled with patient name and specimen site(s). Paper requisitions that accompany the specimen or slides in fixative should be placed in the outside pocket of the biohazard bag to avoid exposure to any leakage of fixative. Submit the specimen and the completed test request form to the Cytopathology Laboratory.

Causes for rejection: Incomplete patient requisitions, unlabeled/incorrectly labeled specimen, frozen specimen, incorrect test ordered for specimen, specimen submitted in incorrect or expired fixative, specimen from unauthorized person.

Specimen stability: Fixed slides: Indefinitely. Liquid preservative up to 72 hours, fresh refrigerated specimen time varies. If transport time will be less than 24 hours or fixative is not available, the specimen should be refrigerated at 4°C (or 39°F) or kept on wet ice until transport to the lab.

Reference interval: By report.

CPT code(s): 88160.

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