Effect of a thin-layer preparation system on workload in a cytology laboratory

Dale A. Cheuvront, Robert J. Elston, John W Bishop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Two experienced cytotechnologist were trained to examine thin-layer slides prepared using the AutoCyte Preparation System (Elon College NC). The time for examining slides decreased from 5.9 and 6.1 minutes per thin-layer slide to 2.7 and 4.2 minutes within 500 slides. The final screening rates were 0.47 to 1.15 s/mm for thin layers and 0.23 to 0.26 s/mm2 for conventional slides. Compared with conventionally prepared Papanicolaou smears, the thin-layer preparations had a lower rate of specimens limited for interpretation, a higher rate of abnormal findings and a similar rate of unsatisfactory samples. Processing time per slide was 5.1 minutes, compared with 2 minutes per slide for conventional smears. The thin-layer method reduced screening time but improved quality, because cytotechnologists devoted more time per unit area. The increase in time required for preparation offset the decrease in screening time, making the total testing time for a thin-layer slide comparable with that of a conventional smear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-179
Number of pages6
JournalLaboratory Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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