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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

  • 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.

      Stedman's Online Medical Dictionary. www.stedmansonline.com/content.aspx?id=mirC2500003494&termtype=t. Accessed Sept. 9, 2015.