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Liquid-based cytology (LBC) is the study of cells in a liquid suspension and is often used in screening programmes or for diagnostic purpose

Cytopathology turn-around-times

Gynaecological: Within 1 – 2 working days
Urgent non-gynaecological: Within 1 – 2 working days
Not urgent non-gynaecological: Within 2 – 3 working days

Gynaecological cytopathology


Cervical and vaginal cells are collected in a sample bottle that contains a special preservative fluid for liquid-based cytology.

Sample bottles are available from SYNLAB.

Non-gynaecological cytopathology specimens


The majority of non-gynaecological specimens are collected and submitted for the identification of atypical cells. These include the examination of fine needle aspirations (FNA)(Aspirate flushed into the liquid containing sample bottle or smeared on the slide), sputum, bronchial lavage, mid-stream urine, and synovial fluids and other fluids collected in sterile universal bottles.


Where slides are prepared from FNA, it is important to ensure that they are labelled with the patient’s name and hospital number and that they are received in the laboratory with a completed request form. Please contact the laboratory if you require advice on preparing optimal FNA slides; slides should be sent to SYNLAB in an appropriate slide box labelled with minimum 3-point patient identification.


1. First name and surname
2. Date of birth
3. Hospital number


Please contact the laboratory if you are in any doubt as to how specimens should be sent to the laboratory for analysis. Each specimen must be labelled with the patient’s information and received with a completed
request form.

Availability of results

All results become available on PathProvider once results are verified.

You may obtain preliminary results following a discussion with the reporting consultant.

Please note that hard copies are no longer automatically sent unless specifically requested

If results are requested over the phone, the caller’s identity must be confirmed before any results are provided.

If you are sending both histology and cytology samples on the same patient, we require separate request forms for both samples.

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