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Liquid-based PAP Collection (LBC)

BACKGROUND: Samples of cells from the Cervix or Vagina, also known as Pap smears, are collected as a screening test for detection of cellular abnormalities of cervical pre-cancer and cancer. Traditionally, the sample was collected using a wooden spatula and brush and was smeared on to a glass slide (conventional smear) and fixed with cytospray. Calgary Laboratory Services has introduced new technology known as Liquid-based Cytology (LBC). The specimen is collected from the patient using a plastic spatula and brush (supplied) and the specimen is collected into a jar containing liquid preservative medium. This technology offers many advantages, some are listed below:

1. Immediate preservation of collected cells
2. Entire sample is recovered rather than lost with the discarded spatula/brush
3. Preservative contains chemicals that lyse blood, mucus and inflammatory cells allowing for a clean specimen and easier identification of abnormal cells
4. Multiple slides can be prepared
5. Additional tests such as HPV screen can be performed on the same sample. For more information on HPV testing refer to the HPV testing pamphlet found at and Reflex HPV Testing Information for Physicians.


CLS Gynecological Cytopathology Requisition (REQ9043CY-GYN)

Specimen Handling and Transport

Collection Instructions:

For the steps on obtaining the LBC specimen click here - collection instructions*.

Note: It is important to rinse the spatula and brush thoroughly in the collection fluid by swirling several times immediately after collection.

CAUTION: Most standard lubricants interfere with the processing of the specimen in the laboratory, it is therefore strongly recommended to avoid the use of lubricant.

*Used with permission from the Cytyc Corporation. 


Label the container according to the CLS requirements.