The effect of vortexing on cell yield in the processing of cervical cytology specimens by the SurePath™ method
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Liquid based cytology (LBC) was implemented in 2003 as a primary means for processing samples for cervical cancer screening programmes in England and Wales. It was introduced in order to improve the sensitivity and specificity of the cervical screening test, as well as eradicating common problems associated with the previous conventional method such as high inadequate rates. Adequacy and cellularity have been highlighted as important issues with LBC and so ways in which cellular yield can be maximised from these samples is also a major point of interest in cervical cytology. The role of this project was to investigate if a higher cellularity could be achieved in SurePath™ samples when they are subjected to double the standard vortexing procedure. The hypothesis was that a higher cellular content will be produced when SurePath™ samples are subjected to double the standard vortexing protocol e.g. 30 seconds@3000rpm. 106 anonymised routine liquid based cytology samples were collected; these were split into 2 groups of 53. Group one were subjected to vortexing for 15 seconds @ 3000rpm, and group two were subjected to double the standard protocol of 30 seconds@3000rpm. Using a 10µl aliquot of residual material from the samples, each sample was subjected to a total of three cell counts. One to be taken prior to vortexing, another cell count after vortexing for samples subjected to either 15 seconds @ 3000rpm or 30 seconds @3000rpm. All samples were then processed as per standard SurePath™ protocol, and a repeat slide for a final cell count was produced. Bivariate statistical analysis demonstrated no statistical significance of p=0.6 in mean cell counts between group one and group two prior to vortexing. A significant difference of p=0.004 in all mean cell counts after vortexing, in samples which were subjected to vortexing once for 15 seconds @ 3000rpm and samples which are subjected to vortexing twice for 30 seconds @3000rpm.No statistical significance of p=0.172 in all mean cell counts between group one and two final SurePath™ slides. Conclusion- even though double vortexing improves the number of cells available in the vial, the improvement does not result in improved cellularity in the final SurePath™.
BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science
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