Cytopathology Laboratory      

617-726-3185 MEDICAL DIRECTOR: Martha Pitman, MD

617-726-3980 Techinical Director: Brenda Sweeney, Technical Specialist: Ronald Arpin

Hours of Operation: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday

Specimen Delivery: Specimen delivery should be between 7:30 am and 4:30 pm to the Cytoprep Area at Warren 113. When the laboratory is closed, specimens should be delivered to the Core Laboratory.

Specimen Collection

  • All smears should be fixed immediately in 95% ethyl alcohol and delivered to Warren 113, as soon as possible.
  • All non-smeared specimens (e.g., urines, sputum, CSF, liquid-based GYN) should be fresh and delivered to the laboratory as soon as possible, preferably within one hour.
  • No 24-hour collections are acceptable.
  • All specimens must be labeled with the patient’s full name and unit number and must be accompanied by a properly completed Cytopathology requisition (form #10299).
  • All pertinent information must be included to ensure accurate cytological evaluation and to comply with federal regulations.

Criteria for Specimen Refusal

Cytopathology reserves the right to refuse specimens that arrive improperly labeled, improperly packaged or with incomplete information on the requisition. Results: Results are available as tests are completed, on a daily basis. The general interpretation system used in evaluating Cytopathology specimens is as follows:

  • Cervico/Vaginal (PAP) Smears
    • Negative for intraepithelial lesion or malignancy
    • Epithelial cell abnormality - squamous/glandular, with narrative description
    • Unsatisfactory: specimen on which diagnosis cannot be made for stated reason
  • Non-Gynecological Specimens
    • Unsatisfactory: specimen on which diagnosis cannot be made for stated reasons
    • Negative: cells which do not deviate from normal
    • Atypical: cells which deviate from normal, which may be of a reactive or neoplastic etiology
    • Suspicious: cells which are suggestive for malignancy, but not conclusive
    • Positive: cells which are conclusive for malignancy
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This page last updated on July 30, 2014