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COVID-19 (Coronavirus info)

Information and guidance for public, NHSGGC staff, and community-based services.  Hospital visiting restrictions now in place.

Diagnostic Cytology

Clinical Tests Available

Name Of Test

Specimen/Container Requirements:

Further Information:

Respiratory: Sputum

Bronchial Aspirates, Washings, Lavages, Brushings

Do not fix sample in formalin, please use saline.

SEE BELOW FOR SPECIMENS REQUIRING A DIFFERENTIAL CELL COUNT

PLEASE SEND THE SPECIMEN IMMEADIATELY. If this is not possible, the specimen(s) can be refrigerated overnight but MUST be delivered at the earliest opportunity the next day.

 

 

Samples to be placed in a purple specimen bag.

 

Bronchial Differential Cell Counts

Specimens requiring a differential cell count must be clearly described/marked on the request form.

Specimens for Bronchial differential cell counts must be lavages in saline (the test requires mucoid material).

PLEASE SEND THE SPECIMEN IMMEADIATELY. If this is not possible, the specimen(s) can be refrigerated overnight but MUST be delivered at the earliest opportunity the next day.

Differential Cell Counts cannot be performed on patients who are positive for COVID-19

 

Samples to be placed in a purple specimen bag.

 

Pancreatic Brushings

Do not fix sample in formalin, please use Preservcyt solution.

PLEASE SEND THE SPECIMEN IMMEADIATELY. If this is not possible, the specimen(s) can be refrigerated overnight but MUST be delivered at the earliest opportunity the next day.

Preservcyt solution is available with advance notice from:

Cytology Department, Level 3, Laboratory Medicine and Facilities Management Building, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, 1345 Govan Rd, Glasgow, G51 4TF (0141 354 9569).

Samples to be placed in a purple specimen bag.

 

Fine Needle Aspirate (FNA): Head & Neck, Breast, Lymph Node etc.

FNA specimens should be sent on 4 glass slides: 2 slides air dried and 2 slides treated with Cytofix fixative spray

More information can be found in the document: Fine Needle Aspirate Labelling Guide for Cytology Users [PATH-NG-LI-011]

FNA specimens do not need to be refrigerated

Cytofix fixative spray is available with advance notice from:

Cytology Department, Level 3, Laboratory Medicine and Facilities Management Building, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, 1345 Govan Rd, Glasgow, G51 4TF (0141 354 9569).

Samples to be placed in a purple specimen bag.

Endobronchial Ultrasound Guided Transbronchial Needle Aspirate (EBUS-TBNA)

Endoscopic Ultrasound Guided Fine Needle Aspirate (EUS FNA): Pancreas, Liver

Do not fix sample in formalin, please use Preservcyt solution.

Preservcyt solution is available with advance notice from:

Cytology Department, Level 3, Laboratory Medicine and Facilities Management Building, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, 1345 Govan Rd, Glasgow, G51 4TF (0141 354 9569).

Samples to be placed in a purple specimen bag.

Joint (Synovial) Fluid Analysis

Gout Crystal Analysis

Do not fix sample in formalin, please send FRESH and with no additives.

Please DO NOT add EDTA

 

This test has been fully validated within the cytology department but is not UKAS accredited.

Samples to be placed in a purple specimen bag.

Serous Effusions

Do not fix sample in formalin, please send FRESH and with no additives.

The volume of sample sent should be a minimum of 75ml if possible, but preferably no more than 150ml.

PLEASE SEND THE SPECIMEN IMMEADIATELY. If this is not possible, the specimen(s) can be refrigerated overnight but MUST be delivered at the earliest opportunity the next day.

Samples to be placed in a purple specimen bag.

Urine Samples

Do not fix sample in formalin, please send FRESH and with no additives.

DO NOT send a urine sample taken early in the morning or shortly after waking.

The volume of sample sent should preferably be 50ml

PLEASE SEND THE SPECIMEN IMMEADIATELY. If this is not possible, the specimen(s) can be refrigerated overnight but MUST be delivered at the earliest opportunity the next day.

Samples to be placed in a purple specimen bag.

Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)

Do not fix sample in formalin, please send FRESH and with no additives.

PLEASE SEND THE SPECIMEN IMMEADIATELY.

Samples to be placed in a purple specimen bag.

Flow Cytometry

DO NOT SEND TO CYTOLOGY DEPARTMENT, Send to Haemato-Oncology, Gartnavel.

Samples NEED to be analysed by the lab within 72 hours of sample collection-This is especially important for patients with a clinical history including Lymphoma

 

Samples to be placed in a purple specimen bag.

Samples should be sent directly to Flow Cytometry laboratory by porter/courier:

Haemato-Oncology, Gartnavel General Hospital, Paul O’Gorman Building, 21 Shelley Road, Glasgow, G12 0XB (0141 3017729)

 

General Info

The Diagnostic Cytology Laboratory is part of the pathology department:

Address:

Cytology Laboratory,

The Laboratory Medicine Building, Level 3,

Queen Elizabeth University Hospital

1345 Govan Road,

Glasgow

G51 4TF.

 

The working hours for the Diagnostic Cytology Laboratory are:

Monday  - Friday

09:00-17:00

Saturday

08:00-12:00

Specimens should be sent to the laboratory as soon as possible.

 

If a specimen is taken out of hours, the specimen should be placed in a fridge overnight and sent to cytology immediately the next morning.

 

Specimen Repertoire

Specimen types routinely processed by the Diagnostic Cytology Laboratory include:

Serous Fluids Cytology: Ascitic fluid, pericardial fluid, peritoneal washings and pleural fluid.

Respiratory Cytology: Bronchial aspirates, bronchial lavages, bronchial brushings and sputa.

Brushings Specimens: Pancreatic biliary, ureteric and common bile duct.

Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) Cytology: Superficial FNA’s taken from thyroid, breast, lymph node, supraclavicular and submandibular. Endoscopic FNA’s including TBNAs (Transbronchial needle aspirations) from lymph nodes or masses, FNA from pancreas, stomach or oesophagus and fine needle biopsy (FNB) from pancreas/nodes.

Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF): CSF and other neuropathology fluids are processed by cytology and reported by the Neuropathology Consultants.

Synovial Fluids (NB: This test is not UKAS accredited): Synovial fluids are examined for the presence of monosodium urate and calcium pyrophosphate crystals in cytology. Synovial fluids are also examined for microscopic assessment if septic arthritis, inflammation or infection is queried. Any Synovial fluid specimens where septic arthritis is suspected MUST have a separate additional specimen and request form being sent to Microbiology. Bursa fluid and ganglion fluid may be examined for the presence of crystals and microscopic cell evaluation.

Other Fluids: Cyst Fluids (e.g. ovarian cyst, parotid and Thyroid)

Urine: Urine, ureteric washings and renal pelvic washings. Cytology CAN test for the presence of casts in urine.

 

Specimen Transport

Certain specimens for Diagnostic Cytology can be transported by the previously listed normal specimen transport methods as well as the internal pneumatic tube system

Specimens from the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital may be sent via the internal pneumatic tube system. ONLY the following specimens may be sent via the internal pneumatic tube system: Fluids, FNAs which are fluids (NOT slides), respiratory specimens and CSFs. Please do not send specimens with a danger of infection via the pneumatic tube system. Please ensure all specimens are sent in leak-proof containers (white lidded, screw top universal tubes are ideal).

The Diagnostic Cytology laboratory should be contacted on 89569 before a specimen is sent through the pneumatic tube system.  The pneumatic tube extension for cytology is 1616

 

Laboratory Acceptance Criteria

The Diagnostic Cytology laboratory follows the same specimen acceptance criteria as the pathology department.

Specimens that are Mislabelled/Erroneous/Have Insufficient Information

In the event that a specimen received in diagnostic cytology where the specimen and /or the request form has been mislabelled or erroneous, the team leader or appropriate biomedical scientist will make every attempt to contact the sender and clarify what has happened.

This may be by email or by telephoning the clinician given on the request form.

If the event that there is insufficient information to contact the source regarding a specimen e.g. specimen sent with no request form. The specimen will be kept for 1 week, in the hope that the laboratory will be contacted. If no contact has been made at the end of this period, the specimen will be discarded.

A cytology trakcare request form should be sent for cytology tests NOT a histopathology trakcare request form. The cytology department does issue reports via trakcare.

 

Danger of Infection (D.O.I) Specimens

Specimens taken specifically for the diagnosis of infectious diseases should NOT be sent to Cytology, but instead be sent directly to microbiology/virology as appropriate.

Specimens which are highly suspicious of, or from known Group 3 infectious diseases MUST be labelled as D.O.I

Examples of Group 3 infectious diseases include: Coronavirus (COVID-19), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Hepatitis C&D, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (CJD)

CSF Cytology – Specimens which are highly suspicious of CJD or known CJD should be labelled as D.O.I. A specimen should be sent directly to the Edinburgh CJD unit if there is a clinical suspicion of CJD.

Group 4 Infectious Diseases: Should NOT be sent to Cytology for processing. E.g. Viral haemorrhagic fever.

 

Sending a D.O.I Specimen to Cytology

Specimens which pose a risk from infectious diseases MUST:

  • Be placed in a D.O.I specimen bag (ONLY send D.O.I specimens in these bags)
  • Have a D.O.I label on the Specimen Container
  • Indicate there is a Danger of Infection by ticking the box on the request form
  • Describe the nature of the risk (known or highly suspicious of) on the request form

 

Urgent Specimens

Urgent specimens MUST be clearly labelled as urgent on the specimen request form.

The request form must also have the contact information of the clinician who requires the urgent result e.g.  telephone number or page of the clinician . If a specimen is required urgently for a Multi-disciplinary Meetings (MDT), please put this on the specimen request form and the date of the MDT.

Last Updated: 02 November 2021