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PAP Smear Tests

Test indication: The Pap smear is used as a screening test for the evaluation of the lower female genital tract to detect the presence of inflammatory/infectious conditions, benign proliferative conditions, unsuspected or confirmation of suspected atypia, pre-malignant, or malignant changes, follow-up of patients with known and/or treated pre-malignant or malignant lesions.

Specimen types: Vaginal, cervical or cervical/endocervical sample(s) collected using conventional or liquid base Pap test collection method.

Methodology: Routine cytopathologic evaluation.
Performed: Monday-Friday.
Reported: 1- 7 days.

Reference interval: By report.

General Patient Preparation instructions

To optimize collection, a woman should:

1. Schedule an appointment approximately two weeks (10-18 days) after the first day of her last menstrual period (obtain specimens during the second half of the menstrual period to avoid contamination by obscuring blood).
2. Not douche 48 hours prior to test.
3. Not use tampons, birth control foams, jellies or other vaginal creams or vaginal medications for 48 hours prior to the test.
4. Refrain for intercourse 48 hours prior to the test.

General procedural instructions (see links at end of this section for specific instructions)

1. Label the slide(s) with the patient’s first and last name, and specimen source directly on the frosted end of the glass, in pencil, before beginning the procedure. THE LABORATORY WILL NOT ACCEPT UNLABELED SLIDES. Please note that a Pap smear folder labeled with the patient’s name is not adequate for patient identification. The patient information must appear on the slide.
2. Obtain all specimens prior to bimanual examination.
3. Place the patient in the lithotomy positions. Using an un-lubricated vaginal speculum (saline may be used as a lubricant) visualize the cervix as fully as possible.
4. Do not use a cotton-tip applicator, it provides less cellular sample due to material being trapped in the fibers.
5. After collection and proper fixation of specific specimens as outlined in specific collection procedure as follows place slide(s) in a cardboard slide folder or submit in liquid-base Pap test vial to the Cytopathology Laboratory, along with the completed test request form.

Specific Procedures:
Conventional Pap-Routine Cervical/Vaginal
Conventional Pap-Routine Vaginal Smear
Conventional Pap-Vaginal Smear, DES Exposure
SurePath Liquid Based PAP Test

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 are stable indefinitely. SurePath Pap Test liquid preservative specimens stable up to 28 days.

CPT codes: CPT codes vary based on testing performed.

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