Specimen Transport (Cytology)

Written by Robert Storer on .

Specimen Transport

All Cytology samples must be sent to the laboratory on the next available transport.

Non-Gynae Samples

All unfixed Cytology cell samples will begin to degenerate from the moment of collection, thereby rendering them difficult to interpret and potentially unsuitable for diagnostic purposes.  In the interests of the patient, it is advisable that they be transported to the laboratory for processing as soon as is possible to minimise autolysis and promote accurate and timely reporting. To facilitate this, specimens must arrive in the laboratory correctly labelled and packaged and accompanied by an appropriate request form completed with the minimum data set and all relevant patient and clinical details.

In the event that this is not possible, to preserve the cellular material, please ensure all samples are refrigerated (2-8 degrees C). DO NOT FREEZE THE SAMPLE AS THIS WILL DAMAGE THE CELLS.

Due to the fragile nature of the Bronchoalveolar Lavages (BAL) and Cerebrospinal Fluids, these samples must be sent to the laboratory immediately after sample collection. BAL samples must be sent packed in crushed ice. Prior to specimen collection please notify the laboratory to ensure that there are staff available for immediate processing.


All samples sent to the laboratory should be packed so as to comply with the Carriage of Dangerous Goods (Classification, Packaging and Labelling) Regulations 1996 General Guidance

Samples may be sent to the Laboratory in the following ways:

On-site transport

Off-site arrangements