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Pre-analytical Issues In Effusion Cytology

Claire W. Michael, Ben Davidson

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AbstractEffusions or body cavity fluids are amongst the most commonly submitted samples to the cytology laboratory. Knowledge of proper collection, storage, preservation and processing techniques is essential to ensure proper handling and successful analysis of the sample. This article describes how the effusions should be collected and proper conditions for submission. The different processing techniques to extract the cellular material and prepare slides satisfactory for microscopic evaluation are described such as direct smears, cytospins, liquid based preparations and cell blocks. The article further elaborates on handling the specimens for additional ancillary testing such as immunostaining and molecular tests, including predictive ones, as well as future research approaches.