A new British study shows that the most common device used in the U.S. to
collect cervical cells for a Pap smear, the Ayre's spatula, may not be the
An extended-tip spatula may be a better choice, because it reaches further
into the cervix and thus gathers more cells.
Critics of the study argue that many U.S. physicians use a combination of
devices that does result in a reliable reading. Also, they say the problem is
not how to perform a Pap smear, but rather convincing women to have the routine