Laboratory Location: UHND
Cytology is located within the Pathology department, located on
the Lower Ground floor, between lifts and stairs C and D.
Stairway and lift C are nearest access to both Sample Reception
* and Visitors Entrance** on
Laboratory opening hours - 9.00am - 17:30 Monday to
NON GYNAECOLOGICAL CYTOLOGY
Investigations for malignant cells
Fresh specimens should be sent to the laboratory as soon as
possible to minimise deterioration of the cell content as
interpretation may be adversely affected if there is significant
delay. Specimens which are fixed prior to receipt by the laboratory
(i.e. bronchial brushes) are not however critically affected by
delays. Advice is always available from the laboratory - Extension
We aim to provide 80% of results within 48 hours of specimen
receipt in the laboratory unless a second opinion and / or
ancillary tests are required. Urgent specimens will take an
absolute minimum of 2 hours to be reported if fresh upon receipt.
(Some fine needle aspirates and specimens received fixed may be
available for reporting sooner.)
You will need to carefully discriminate between routine and
genuinely urgent cases. The latter disrupt normal laboratory
practice with significant knock-on effects for other specimens. For
urgent requests submit an extension/bleep number for reply.
Turnaround time for cervical cytology has a mandatory NHS target
of 98% within 14 days from the date the specimen is taken to
the patient receiving the result from the screening office.
It is essential that the sample is placed in the vial at
once in order to achieve immediate fixation. Do this before you
remove the speculum.
* NB Check vial expiry date before use.
** The department operates a zero tolerance policy on
unlabelled vials, these will be discarded and surgeries
Occasionally, a second or expert opinion is required. The
following list gives the names and addresses to whom such samples
Dr Josie Shrimankar, Consultant Histopathologist, North Tees
University Hospital, Hardwick, Stockton on Tees, TS19 8PE
Dr Mark Bennett, Consultant Histopathologist, Department of
Pathology, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Queen Victoria Road, Newcastle
Upon Tyne, NE1 4LP
Dr Paul Cross, Consultant Histopathologist, Queen Elizabeth
Hospital, Sheriff Hill, Gateshead
Dr Mary Sheppard, Consultant Histopathologist, Department of
Pathology, Royal Brompton Hospital, Sydney Street, London, SW3
Dr J D Hemming, Consultant Histopathologist, Queen Elizabeth
Hospital, Sheriff Hill, Gateshead, NE9 6SX
Professor A Burt, Consultant Histopathologist, Royal Victoria
Infirmary, Queen Victoria Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne,
Dr B Wilkins/Dr K Wood, Lymphoma Team, Department of Pathology,
Royal Victoria Infirmary, Queen Victoria Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne,
CYTOLOGY SPECIMEN REQUIREMENTS
CYTOLOGY FOR MALIGNANT CELLS
This information is also available in the general test directory.
Specimen: Fresh early morning deep cough sputum is required,
i.e. first sputum production of day, before the patient has eaten
or cleaned teeth, to reach laboratory within two hours. Recommended
a series of three early morning specimens on consecutive days.
(b) Serous Effusions
No anticoagulant or fixative.
Specimen: Fresh. Large volumes of fluid should be physically
mixed and a representative universal container of fluid sent. Any
clots present should be sent in the fluid as these often contain
large numbers of cells. Specimen to reach the laboratory within two
hours. (If necessary may be kept overnight in the fridge but
sub-optimal results may be obtained.)
NOT Boric Acid universal.
Specimen: Fresh. Specimen must not be first urine of the day. A
whole specimen of urine should be collected after the patient has
walked around (if mobile) for a little while. Specimen must reach
laboratory as soon as possible as urine is hostile to the cells and
degeneration is very rapid. They must be in a white top universal
(d) Fine Needle Aspirates (All sites)
Specimen: Contents of aspiration needle should be blown with
syringe onto an appropriate number of slides, spread quickly (as
blood film) to produce monolayer and AIR DRIED AS RAPIDLY AS
POSSIBLE which usually means wafting the slides in the air. Slides
should then be sent in dry slide container to the laboratory as
soon as feasible. If fluid is aspirated this should be sent to the
laboratory in a sterile universal container as soon as possible.
The discarded needle can be placed in the Cytolyt for a needle
rinse preparation. Technical advice is available - Extension
(e) Bronchial Brush Specimens
Specimen: The brush should be immediately cut and dropped into a
container of Cytolyt - supplies of Cytolyt should be available on
all endoscopy sites.
(f) Bronchial Lavage/Trap Specimens
Specimen: Fresh. Lavage and trap specimens should be collected
and sent to laboratory within two hours.
PATHOLOGY REQUEST FORMS AND SPECIMENS - 2
Samples should be sent to the laboratory fully labelled in a
Samples should be in a separate transport bag with the completed
request form attached.
Samples can only be accepted for routine processing if there is no
leakage, correct labelling, accompanying request form, no
indication of high risk and appropriate container used.
Rejection of samples will depend on: -
To ensure samples and form can be uniquely linked to a patient
and historical data minimum labelling for the form and sample is:
MINIMUM IDENTIFICATION FOR THE FORM:
For confidential samples
Additional information expected. Requester's code and
Hospital number mandatory for transfusion related requests
'The treatment I have received from all the staff has been
excellent and could you extend my thanks to them all. A very
thankful and relieved patient'.
Patient, Dermatology Outpatients Department, University Hospital
of North Durham