Evaluation of the AutoCyte SCREEN® system in a clinical cytopathology laboratory

John W Bishop, Dale A. Cheuvront, Kenneth L. Sims

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To compare the AutoCyte SCREEN® (AutoCyte, Burlington, North Carolina, U.S.A.) system with manual screening by experienced cytotechnologists using thin-layer preparations that had been previously extensively studied and their cytologic abnormalities well defined. STUDY DESIGN: AutoCyte PREP® (AutoCyte) samples prepared for a previous split- sample study comparing thin-layer preparations to conventional smears were used. These 1,992 AutoCyte PREP® samples were in a cohort the abnormal findings of which had been confirmed via independent review by two sets of pathologists. For the current study, these samples were remasked and evaluated by the AutoCyte SCREEN® system in a clinical laboratory. The instrument scanned each slide and selected six overview fields and 120 single objects for storage and display. The computer classified each slide in one of the following categories: abnormal, uncertain, normal or unsatisfactory. Independently for each case, a cytotechnologist evaluated the six fields and 120 objects selected by the instrument as abnormal, normal or unsatisfactory. For those cases classified as uncertain by AutoCyte, the technologist then reexamined the cellular displays and entered a consensus classification. These results were then compared to those of an independent review by cytotechnologists of the identical set of slides using routine manual screening. RESULTS: The AutoCyte SCREEN® selected 35% of slides for manual review. Technologist and computer rendered equivalent classifications in 79%. Of the total slides screened by the AutoCyte SCREEN®, 57% were classified as 'uncertain,' and 88% of these were subsequently classified as normal by consensus. Using the well-defined abnormal values of the cellular sample as a basis for calculation, the AutoCyte SCREEN®-assisted practice had a diagnostic sensitivity of 85% and diagnostic specificity of 97.6%. Comparable values for manual screening of the identical cellular sample were a diagnostic sensitivity of 80% and specificity of 97.4%. CONCLUSION: The AutoCyte SCREEN® achieves comparable or greater sensitivity in detecting cervical abnormalities in comparison with manual screening. When combined with the substantial advantage of thin-layer preparations over conventional smears, the AutoCyte SCREEN® provides a screening system of superior sensitivity over conventionally prepared and examined cervical smears.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-136
Number of pages9
JournalActa Cytologica
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000


  • AutoCyte SCREEN®
  • Cervical smears
  • Cervix neoplasms
  • Computer-assisted diagnosis
  • Mass screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Cell Biology
  • Histology


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