PAP Smear for Cytology

Test Name:   PAP for Cytology
Alternate Name (s):    
Laboratory Module:   Cytology
Ordering Mnemonic:   All specimens must be accompanied by a completed Cytology Gynecological Requisition Form.
Specimen Type:   

Pap smear

Collection Container:   Collected via a cytobrush or spatula Container Information
Collection Information:  

I.1. All specimens must be accompanied by a completed Cytology Gynecological Requisition Form.

The following information is required on the requisition, clearly written in ink:
(a) Patient identifiers (addressographs may be used)

      (i) patient's first and last name
      (ii) hospital unique number
      (iii) date of birth
      (iv) Ontario Health Insurance Number with version code.
(b) Submitting area identifiers: Hospital site (BGH or The Willett) and the submitting department (Emergency, Ambulatory Care etc.).
(c) Submitting physician's name.
(d) Date of specimen collection
(e) A brief clinical history, relevant pathological and radiological findings.
(f) Specimen information
     (i) specimen type/source
     (ii) specimen site

I.2. Place smaller specimen containers in a biohazard bag. If a paper requisition was used the requisition should be placed in the outer pouch of the biohazard bag.

I.3. Transport specimen to the Triage area of the laboratory as soon as possible

Slides: Should be labeled in pencil with patients Last and First name.

Patient Instructions:
It is preferred after day 10 of the menstrual cycle.
Do not douche prior to having the test.
Do not use contraceptive foam prior to testing.
Do not have sexual intercourse 24 hours prior to testing.
Do not have repeat PAP tests sooner than 3 months.

Physician Instructions

Label the frosted end of a glass slide with the patients name (in pencil) before sample collection.

Once the patient is positioned, a single use disposable bivalve speculum of appropriate size should be gently inserted into the vagina, avoiding direct pressure on the sensitive anterior structures.

Visually inspect the cervix for abnormalities.

Insert the cervical brush into the os; some bristles should still be visible. With gentle pressure rotate the brush 90 to 180 degrees to minimize bleeding.

Remove cervical brush.

Transfer the material from the brush by rolling the bristles across the slide by rotating the brush handle.

Immediately fix the specimen by coating the slide with a surface fixative (Cytospray).
Test Schedule:  

Monday to Friday prior to 1:00 pm

Turnaround Time:   Routine

1 week

Stat / Urgent

2 days

Reference Interval:  


Critical Values:   As determined by NCCLS guidelines.
Lab Process Notes :   Incomplete information on the requisition or the slide will result in a delay of processing.
Storage & Transport:   Specimens should be stored at room temperature in the cytology specimen box.
Test Referred to :    BGH, On site
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