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Women's Health

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Pap Test: Collecting Cells in Liquid - Topic Overview

Liquid-based methods for collecting cervical cells and preparing them for laboratory evaluation are available.

A sample of cervical cells is collected during a Pap test. Then the cells are 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.

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These methods can produce false-positive results just like standard Pap tests. These methods cost more than standard Pap testing.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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