A new cytology technique being used by many hospitals and gynecology practices in place of the traditional scraped Pap smear may be used with oral specimens as well. Instead of transferring the specimen onto a glass slide, the brush used to collect the cell specimen is twirled in a vial containing an alcohol-based fixative/preservative liquid. The brush head remains in the fixative so that no cell is lost during this process and the entire vial is sent to a laboratory for microscopic evaluation of the cells.
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