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Cervical cancer is very treatable, even curable if detected early. Women can be screened for cervical cancer through Pap tests, usually recommended annually. Now, the laboratory at King’s Daughters is the first in the region to offer new technology that improves the accuracy of Pap tests in catching abnormal cells. 

King’s Daughters laboratory recently implemented the ThinPrep® Imaging System to enhance the sensitivity and accuracy of Pap tests. “For years our lab has used ThinPrep®, the liquid-based Pap test which is considered the gold standard for cervical screening,” said Julie Simmering, outreach laboratory services manager. “Now we can combine the ThinPrep Pap test with the new Imaging System to enhance our ability to see and identify any abnormal cells present in a given specimen.” 

There are a number of clinical benefits to the new technology, said KDMC pathologist Katalin Kovacs, M.D. “This system provides improved specimen quality, more precise results and the ability to conduct multiple tests on the same sample," she said.  "We are proud to offer these new technologies to our clients and their patients." 

How it the ThinPrep Imaging System works:

  • ThinPrep Pap specimens are collected from patients by the physician.
  • KDMC lab technologists apply a special stain allowing digital measurement of cellular DNA content.
  • The ThinPrep Imaging System scans the slide for every cell and cell cluster, identifying areas of interest for review by the cytotechnologist — areas more likely to contain abnormalities.
  • The Imaging System identifies 22 fields-of-view for increased focus for the cytotechnologist’s review. If abnormal cells are identified, the cytotechnologist manually screens the entire slide, prior to submission to the pathologist for final diagnosis. 

“The ThinPrep Imaging System evaluates many slides with greater efficiency and accuracy,” said Shawn Boggs, KDMC Lab director. “This approach is proved to increase sensitivity and specificity over manual screening alone, giving physicians, and their patients greater peace of mind.” 

Patients can ask their physicians about getting the ThinPrep Pap test combined with the image directed cytology offered at King’s Daughters laboratory. 

Pictured: Cytologist Tina Gillum

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