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glossary:cytology [2012/10/16 14:40] (current)
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|+||Cytology: The medical and scientific study of [[cell]]s. Cytology refers to a branch of [[pathology]], the medical specialty that deals with making diagnoses of [[disease]]s and conditions through the examination of [[tissue]] samples from the body.|
|+||Cytologic examinations may be performed on body fluids (examples are [[blood]], urine, and cerebrospinal fluid) or on material that is aspirated (drawn out via suction into a syringe) from the body. Cytology also can involve examinations of preparations that are scraped or washed (irrigated with a sterile solution) from specific areas of the body. For example, a common example of diagnostic cytology is the evaluation of cervical smears (referred to as the Papanicolaou test or Pap smear).|
|+||In order for cytologic evaluation to be carried out, the material to be examined is spread onto glass slides and stained. A pathologist then uses a microscope to examine the individual cells in the sample.|