Dahl Chase Folders

Collection Instructions for SurePath Pap and ThinPrep Pap Specimens

Reference Number: AA-00259

Specimen Collection Pap Testing


The optimal time for collection is two weeks after the first day of the last menstrual period. The patient should be instructed not to use vaginal medications, spermicides or douches 48 hrs. prior to collection. The patient should also refrain from intercourse 24 hrs. prior to collection.  Do not use lubricant as it obscures cellular detail on pap smears and disrupts SurePath Pap Test processing.  Only approved water-soluble, carbomer-free lubricants may be used and sparingly for ThinPrep Pap specimens.


All specimens (SurePath vials, ThinPrep vials or slides) must be properly labeled with the first and last name of the patient (no nicknames please), a second unique identifier (either date of birth or MR #), and the source.  Slides must be labeled with #2 pencil on the frosted end of the slide.  Unlabeled specimens will be rejected.  Mislabeled specimens may be verified by the provider via fax or may be rejected depending upon the discrepancy.  If rejected, a report will be issued indicating this. 


Specimens must be accompanied by a completed Cytology and Surgical Requisition form.


All supplies may be ordered, at no cost, through Dahl-Chase Purchasing (941-8202)



(Rovers Cervex-Brush® aka "cervical broom")

  1. Label SurePath Pap Test vial with patient's full name, a second unique identifier (either date of birth or MR #), and source.
  2. Insert the Rovers Cervex-Brush® (aka "cervical broom") into the endocervical canal.  Apply gentle pressure until the bristles form against the cervix.
  3. Maintaining gentle pressure, hold the stem between the thumb and forefinger.
  4. Rotate brush five times in a clockwise direction and withdraw from canal.
  5. Placing your thumb against the back of the broom tip, disconnect the entire broom from the stem and put the white broom into the SurePath vial.  It is very important to note that this broom MUST be in the vial in order for us to process the specimen.  The specimen will be rejected if the broom is not present.
  6. Place the cap on the vial and tighten.
  7. Place vial in biohazard bag, and place completed Cytology gynecologic requisition in the outer pouch of bag. 

If you are unable to use the broom (Rovers Cervex-Brush) on a patient, you may use a combination brush/plastic spatula kit. The cytobrush and spatula must be used together and the tips of both devices must be left in the vial. The spatula is rotated one complete turnaround the cervix and the cytobrush is rotated 1/2 turn in the endocervix. The tips of BOTH devices snap off and must be left in the vial. 

**Please note that the use of the brush/spatula without the cervical broom is not FDA approved for HPV testing, so it is recommended that you use the cervical broom first, followed by the brush and/or spatula if HPV is requested and you are unable to get an adequate sample with the broom alone. 

Vaginal Collection - Due to FDA validation requirements, Dahl-Chase will require either the broom OR BOTH the brush and spatula together in the vial in order to process the specimen. 



(protocol: endocervical brush/spatula)

  1. Obtain an adequate sample from the ectocervix using a plastic spatula.  If desired, use lukewarm water to warm and lubricate the speculum.  Apply water-soluble, carbomer-free gel lubricant sparingly to the posterior blade of the speculum if necessary.
  2. Rinse the spatula as quickly as possible into the PreservCyt Solution vial by swirling the spatula vigorously in the vial 10 times.  Discard the spatula.
  3. Obtain an adequate sample from the endocervix using an endocervical brush device.  Insert the brush into the cervix until only the bottom-most fibers are exposed.  Slowly rotate 1/4 or 1/2 turn in one direction.  DO NOT OVER-ROTATE THE BRUSH.
  4. Rinse the brush as soon as possible in the PreservCyt Solution by rotating the device in the solution 10 times while pushing it against the PreservCyt vial wall.  Swirl the brush vigorously to further release material.  Discard the brush.
  5. Tighten the cap so that the torque line on the cap passes the torque line on the vial.
  6. Record the patient's name and second identifier on the vial. Record the patient information and medical history on the cytology requisition form.
  7. Place the vial and requisition in a specimen bag for transport to the laboratory.

**Please note that the use of the cervical broom is not FDA approved for HPV testing on ThinPrep specimens, so it is recommended that you use the brush/spatula if HPV is requested.


If you need results immediately on a pap, you may order it as a RUSH specimen.  Some examples of times when this may be warranted are: If the patient is awaiting a surgical procedure pending the results of this pap or if HPV testing is needed and the pap is nearing the 4 week expiration date.