Re: cytological preparations

From:Jennifer MacDonald

Negative non-gyn cases could be batched to be stained. At the hospital that I last worked at we screened all non-gyn cases for malignancy.  While preparing the smears a drop of the sediment was put on a slide with a drop of toluidine blue and a coverslip lowered on (a wet prep).  Either a cytotech or a pathologist would quickly screen these slides for malignancy before staining the prepared smears.  Any cases that were malignant or suspicious for malignancy were stained separately to prevent cross contamination. Solutions used for the malignant cases were filtered after use or disposed of.  A good set up for the malignant cases are the plastic 5-slide mailers.  They hold about 20 mL of stain and the filtering is easier or disposal much less that using the traditional coplin jars or staining containers.
We prepared 4 smears and a cell block (if possible) on all non-gyn cases.  Two smears were stained with the Diff-Quik procedure and two were stained with the PAP stain.  An H&E was done on the cell block slide.
FNA cases depended on the amount of material available.  We usually received slides from a doctor's office or our Pathologist performed the FNA and he determined the number of slides.
Hope this helps.
Jennifer MacDonald
Mt San Antonio College
Are there any established protocols or practices for the preparation of non-gyn cytology specimens.  What I am looking for is not the actual preparation procedure but the guidlines for each particular specimen. For example, for sputums - are 2 slides enough, or four slides, or just a block preparation?  Are two, four, or six slides acceptable for a fine needle aspiration, etc.
Also, when staining these specimens (I use a Leica Autostainer) can the non-gyn specimens be batched or should each case be stained separately to prevent carry-over. 
I am trying to establish protocols for the Cytology lab which now prepares specimens on a case by case basis.  If there are no established protocols, what does everyone else do?  My main goal is to standardize procedures and to make the deparment more efficient.  Any suggestions would be appreciated.  
Patrick Paulusse
Histology Supervisor
Pembroke General Hospital
Ontario, Canada
(613)732-3675 ext 6716

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