Cervical Screening Programme
Department of Health
The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

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Management of Cells Collected


Conventional cervical smear using glass slide

  • Paint both sides of the spatula/ Cervex brush onto the glass slide to produce an even and thin layer of cells.
  • Fix the cells immediately with 2 sprays from 15 cm (6 inches) within 30 seconds to prevent air-drying of cells. If spray too close, some cells will be washed away or causing freezing artefact. Air-drying will cause degenerative changes with loss of cellular features, thus affecting the accuracy of diagnosis. Allow the slide to stand for 5-7 minutes before storage to allow the fixative to reach all cells evenly. Alternatively, each glass slide can be placed in a separate container with 95% alcohol.
  • If two sampling instruments are used, place both samples on one slide. Paint one end of the slide with Cervex brush or spatula, but do not fix it yet. Then paint the other end with Cytobrush by rolling it on the slide. Finally, fix the whole slide with spray.
  • Transfer the slides to the laboratory in a slide box.

[Workflow: Conventional cervical smear using glass slide ]


Liquid-based cytology

The two commonly used methods are:

  • Collect the cervical cytology sample by plastic spatula or Cervex brush (broom head device) and endocervical sample by endocervical brush (as described in the following figure).
  • Collect cervical cytology sample by Cervex brush and simply drop the removable head into the collection vial.

[Flowchart: Method of Liquid-based cytology ]

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