Paps and Fluids

Welcome to our patient information page for Cytology (Pap Tests and Body Fluids)

Whether you've been scheduled for a pap smear or fine needle aspiration and want to know more about what these tests are, or are simply browsing--we hope you find all the information you need. If you do need anything additional, please contact us, or fill out a feedback form to let us know.

Laboratory Hours

Regular laboratory hours are 8 a.m. -- 4:30 p.m.

Contact Information

Main Laboratory


360-575-9330, Cytology Lab



Fax 360-423-1142
Cytology email
Location Address 1217 14th Avenue, Longview, WA 98632

Cytology Glossary

Cytology The study of cells. Your entire body is made up of different types of cells--bone, skin, nerve, muscle, etc. The cytology laboratory is located in the pathology department of a hospital or a private laboratory.
Pathology The study of disease, particularly the structural and functional changes in cells, tissues and organs of the body, which will lead to or are caused by disease. A pathologist is a medical doctor who specializes in the diagnosis of disease.
Pathologist A physician who is highly trained in the recognition and diagnosis of both normal and diseased tissue. They are the directors of laboratories, and they make diagnosis in the operating room by performing what is called a frozen section. They also perform diagnosis in the histology laboratory by analyzing tissue from a patient to determine whether or not a disease process is involved. If a disease is involved, the pathologist may perform certain tests on the tissue to help determine the exact type of disease in order to help the patient's clinician choose effective treatments.
Cytotechnologist Technologist who is highly trained in the recognition of normal and abnormal cells in a specimen. Responsible for overseeing and/or completing the accessioning, preparation and staining of the cytology specimens. This individual is also responsible for interpretation and diagnosis of negative pap smears. Pap smears that are abnormal and body fluids are forwarded on to a pathologist with the cytotechnologist's impressions for final diagnosis.
Cytology Assistant Specially trained laboratory personnel responsible for accessioning, preparation and staining of cytology specimens. These persons often attend fine needle aspirations to ensure accurate preparation of the sample. They are also responsible for computer data input and proper filing.
Accessioning Verifying patient information; identifying type of specimen; dating and assigning lab identification number.
Pap Smear A life-saving test screening that involves a gynecological exam. During the exam the clinician will obtain cells by scraping the patient's cervical area and then placing those cells into a Surepath vial. A slide is then prepared at the laboratory with a Papanicalou stain (hence the name). The cells on the slide are then viewed through a microscope to determine if there are any cellular abnormalities.
Body Fluids These specimens are obtained to determine if there are any cellular abnormalities. They consist of urine, sputum (coughed from the lungs), body cavity fluid, like abdominal fluid, and fine needle aspirations, which are the extraction of cells from a lump that is palpable (can be felt) or seen on an X-ray.

Visit our FAQ page for answers to common questions.

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