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Cytopathology is a branch of pathology that deals with manifestations of disease at the cellular level. This is a field that is gaining tremendous momentum all over the world due to its speed, accuracy and cost effectiveness.


  1. Diagnostic aid as an alternative to tissue biopsy that drives treatment decisions.

2. As a screening tool; For eg, Pap smear for cervical cancer screening

3. As a follow-up for different diseases once an initial diagnosis has been made

4. For determination of different prognostic factors in cancer diagnosis


·      Safe

·      Simple

·      Cost effective

·      Quick


Exfoliative cytology

The samples represent cells that exfoliate from superficial or mucosal surfaces. This includes:

  • Gynecological samples: Eg; Pap smear samples for Cervical cancer screening, HPV testing etc
  • Respiratory/exfoliative cytology: Eg; Sputum samples, Bronchoalveolar lavage etc
  • Urine sample
  • Body fluid: Eg; pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, peritoneal fluid, and cerebrospinal fluid  etc
  • Discharge cytology: Eg; Discharge from wound site, Nipple discharge etc
  • Scrape cytology: Eg; Skin scraping



Fine Needle Aspiration Cytology (FNAC)

  • This is a simple technique to obtain diagnostic cellular/ tissue material using a fine bore needle. It is safe, relatively easy, accurate and in many cases can be a less invasive alternative to tissue biopsy.