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Cellular contamination during automatic and manual staining of cytological smears
  1. W. T. Barr,
  2. D. E. B. Powell,
  3. J. B. Raffan
  1. Department of Pathology, the General Hospital, Bridgend, Glamorgan


    Three routine cervical smears were contaminated with adenocarcinoma cells from a malignant serous effusion which was being processed simultaneously in an automatic staining machine. Further investigation showed that cells were transferred in up to 17% of cases. However, with manual staining, the figure could be as high as 30%. The possibility of misleading cellular transfer should therefore always be considered. Serious fluids should not be processed with routine cervical smears.

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