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LH Song, EST Goh, LC Phang, WT Poh, SK Tay
Correspondence: Dr Poh Wee Teng
Aim of Study To analyze the common technical problems encountered in ThinPrep preparations.
Method A prospective and retrospective study of eight hundred and fifty (n = 850) conventional cervical smears with its corresponding paired ThinPrep specimens from July 1998 to December 1998.
Results 139 ThinPreps were found to be technically suboptimal. Of these, 81 showed "patchy cells lost"; 18 showed "thick preparations"; 24 demonstrated "halo effect'" where the cellular material collected at the periphery of the cell circle, and 16 had "obscuring blood and amorphous debris", rendering the preparations "satisfactory for evaluation but limited" by the presence of the above artifacts.
Conclusion Despite its many advantages in providing standardization of specimen preparation, superb cellular presentation, reduction in the number of unsatisfactory reports and increased lesion detection rate, ThinPrep has its own limitations in terms of technical problems, ease of operation and cost effectiveness.
Keywords: cervical smears, ThinPrep, technical problems, suboptimal
Singapore Med J 2000; 41(12): 575-578