search buttonmobile navigation expand button

The information contained on this page is provided as general health information and is not intended to substitute as medical advice and direction from your physician or health care provider. Please direct any questions related to your health care provider. In an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency center.


Cytologic evaluation

Definition

Cytologic evaluation is the analysis of cells from the body under a microscope. This is done to determine what the cells look like, and how they form and function.

The test is usually used to look for cancers and precancerous changes. It may also be used to look for viral infections in cells. The test differs from a biopsy because only cells are examined, not pieces of tissue.

The Pap smear is a common cytologic evaluation that looks at cells from the cervix. Some other examples include:

Alternative Names

Cell evaluation; Cytology

visHeader

Pleural biopsyPap smear

References

Kumar V, Abbas AK, Aster JC. Neoplasia. In: Kumar V, Abbas AK, Aster JC, eds. Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basis of Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 7.

Weidmann JE, Keebler CM, Facik MS. Cytopreparatory techniques. In: Bibbo M, Wilbur DC, eds. Comprehensive Cytopathology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 33.