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Nomenclature reporting systems for exfoliative cytopathology must include a description of specimen collection and processing for these are the first steps in the diagnostic process and influence all the steps downstream. Regardless of their technical details, collection and preparation methods must allow for the adequate presentation of cellular findings for diagnostic interpretation. First, efforts must be made to harvest fresh viable cells with minimal degeneration. Second, the cells must be concentrated and transferred from a fluid suspension onto a clean glass surface in a way that allows the cells to adhere and flatten in a predictable way. Third, the preparation must be fixed to retain cellular features. Finally, the slide with the cells on it must be stained and mounted. Each of these steps can be done in a variety of ways, but without an explicit acknowledgement and validation of each step, quality control of the diagnostic process is sure to be elusive.
KeywordsUrine collection Urine processing Preliminary microscopic specimen assessment Cytopreparation Cytomorphology
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