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Cytopathology in Focus: Synergy in cytopathology and molecular microbiology

August 2018—In today’s less-is-more world, health care consumers and providers often seek explicit and detailed information from minimally invasive procedures and tiny samples. Over are the days of “malignant cells present” and on to the next case. Cytopathologists and cytotechnologists are embracing and integrating novel techniques and applying new methods to the diagnosis and classification of essentially every imaginable form of neoplasia. The 2018 WHO publications confirm that 29 percent of deaths worldwide (more than 10 million people annually) are attributable to communicable diseases.1,2 This means the purpose of procuring many specimens is not to just rule out malignancy but also to diagnose infectious etiologies.

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Cytopathology in Focus: Why not call everything ASCUS?

August 2018—Below is a question shared on the ASC listserv. My reply to the question follows. A pathologist colleague who practiced previously as an obstetrician/gynecologist is of the opinion that categorizing the level of abnormality we observe on a Pap test is a waste of time. All the clinician needs to know, he says, is whether the test is normal or abnormal. The Pap test is a screening test, he says correctly, and its only relevance is in pointing out who needs a colposcopy and biopsy.

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Cytopathology in Focus: Reporting salivary gland cytopathology—new user-friendly Milan system consists of six diagnostic categories

May 2018—The Milan System for Reporting Salivary Gland Cytopathology was published Jan. 31 and is an important step toward standardizing the reporting of salivary gland fine needle aspiration. A large body of literature has demonstrated that FNA is an effective method for the initial evaluation of salivary gland masses, but until this year there was no uniform, widely accepted reporting system. The complexity of salivary gland cytology poses unique challenges that demand a standardized approach to communication of diagnostic information between pathologists and treating clinicians.

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Cytopathology in Focus: For thyroid cytopathology, the 2017 Bethesda System

May 2018—Surgical pathologists take their tumor nomenclature from the WHO Classification of Tumours, but cytopathologists take their terminology from where the consensus groups convened—Bethesda, Paris, Milan, and Yokohama—to formulate terminology recommendations. The Bethesda System for Reporting Thyroid Cytopathology (TBSRTC)1 is now in its second edition.

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Cytopathology in Focus: Standardized reporting for breast FNAB cytology

January 2018—In countries with developed medical infrastructure, the use of breast fine-needle aspiration biopsy (FNAB) cytology has had its share of challenges over the past 20 years, among them the use of core needle biopsies. In developing countries where the use of FNAB cytology has been increasing rapidly, breast lesions are one of the most common sites sampled by FNAB. In 2016, the International Academy of Cytology Executive Council put together a “Breast Group,” which consists of cytopathologists, surgical pathologists, radiologists, surgeons, and oncologists working in breast care, with the aim of producing a comprehensive and standardized approach to breast FNAB cytology reporting.

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Cytopathology in Focus: A right and a wrong way to use CAP educational kits

January 2018—The CAP Cytopathology Committee constructs educational and interlaboratory comparison kits that are distributed regularly to cytotechnologists, cytopathologists, and pathologists who want continuing education in cytopathology. The purpose of the kits is to make it possible for those who screen and diagnose cytology slides to maintain and update their skills. However, the Cytopathology Committee has been made aware that the kits have been employed for purposes other than education. We address here the potentially detrimental uses to which some laboratories are putting these educational kits and advise laboratories to use them only as they were intended.

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Cytopathology in Focus: HPV vaccines: the decade in review

January 2018—Diane Harper, MD, MPH, and Leslie DeMars, MD, provide an extensive review of the efficacy of available FDA-approved HPV vaccines in different age groups and describe immunogenicity findings in particular (Gynecol Oncol. 2017;146:196–204). The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a two-dose vaccine for younger children due to high rates of seroconversion and antibody titers in this age group. Girls age 15 and older should continue to get three doses.

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