About Pap Test
The Pap test is a non-sterile cellular specimen obtained for microscopic examination to screen for abnormal cellular changes suggestive of cancer and its precursor conditions. The State Laboratory of Public Health accepts only gynecological ThinPrep Pap specimens from local health departments and state-operated health facilities (public health patients). The Pap test is a screening test for an asymptomatic population. Symptoms, which may be due to neoplasia, should be completely evaluated: the Pap test in this situation is not appropriate management.
False negative tests may occur due to sampling errors, screening difficulties inherent in Pap tests or due to the subjective nature of cytodiagnosis. Patients should have Pap test done on a routine basis.
Following the latest American Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP) Guidelines published in October 2007, the State laboratory will automatically perform a reflex HPV test on patients twenty years of age or older with ASC-US (Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance) pap results for the presence of high risk HPV genotypes using the original ThinPrep specimen vial. This assay detects several of the risk genogypes (HPV types 16, 18, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 58, 59 and 68) but does not distinguish between them. The HPV report will state that high risk genotypes were or were not detected in the patient's sample. The Cancer Cytology Lab will return the patient’s specimen vial to the health care provide for HPV testing in an outside facility if the patient does not meet the SLPH criteria. To contact the Cancer Cytology Laboratory (919) 733-7146.
- Quality Assurance
- Specimen Collection