Liquid-based methods for collecting cervical cells and preparing them
for laboratory evaluation are now available.
A sample of cervical cells is collected during a
Pap test, and the cells are then 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 a
human papillomavirus (HPV) test.
These methods can produce
false-positive results just like standard Pap tests. Not all laboratories
provide this testing, but liquid-based methods are becoming more widely used.
These methods cost more than standard Pap testing.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.