Examining cytology material
The most common samples in cytology are exfoliative, including cervical smears (Pap smears), urine and sputum. These are usually screened by trained cytotechnicians or, in some laboratories, computerised automated systems, to look for any suspicious cells. These suspicious samples are then forwarded on to a pathologist for further microscopic examination and final diagnosis. Aspirated material is usually viewed by a pathologist directly.
Special stains are performed to highlight the cells and background material on the slide, in a similar way to histopathology sections.