Related Terms: Body cavity fluid cytology; bronchial washing; cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cytology; effusions cytology; esophageal washing; fluid cytology; ascites fluid cytology; cyst fluid; culdocentesis; paracentesis fluid cytology; pelvic washing cytology; pericardial fluid cytology; pericardiocentesis fluid cytology; peritoneal fluid cytology; peritoneal washing cytology; pleural fluid cytology; seroma fluid; synovial fluid cytology; thoracentesis fluid cytology.

Test Includes: Cytologic evaluation of smears, cytocentrifuge preparations, and/or cell block when indicated. Special stains and flow cytometry may be used in selected cases.

Availability: Mon–Fri 08:00–17:00, Sat, 08:00–12:00; Pathologist on call at all times for consultation.

Special Instructions: For bloody samples, add 1 mL heparin (1000 units heparin/mL) per 100 mL fluid. Information regarding previous malignancy, cancer treatment, or other major conditions is essential to appropriate interpretation and should be received with specimen. If prolonged storage at room temperature (more than 6 hour) is unavoidable add equal volume of 50% ethanol. Specify clinical differential diagnosis (malignancy, infection, other).

Analytic Time: 1–2 day after receipt, depending on procedures required.

Specimen: Fresh body fluid.

Minimum Volume: Submit as much as is available — Larger volumes will permit additional studies if malignant cells are present and may increase the accuracy of the study.

Container: Any dry container.

Storage Instructions: Refrigerate specimen if it cannot be processed promptly.

Causes for Rejection: Gross contamination due to spillage, prolonged storage period (over 6 hours) at room temperature, and unlabeled containers. Unlabeled specimen. Insufficient demographic or clinical information for processing.

Interpretive Use: To establish the presence of primary or metastatic neoplasm and to aid in the diagnosis of certain benign or infectious conditions

Limitations: Allowing fluid to stand for a prolonged period before processing may cause deterioration and cellular artifacts.