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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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    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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