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Cytopathology Laboratory

Annually, the Cytopathology Laboratory receives, processes and signs out approximately 26,069 gynecologic specimens (liquid based), 1,532 nongynecologic specimens (body fluids, brushes and washes) and 1,532 fine-needle aspiration (FNA) specimens.

The laboratory is located in the School of Medicine, Room N018, (north wing basement). Ext. 4-1550. Specimens may be received in the Cytopathology laboratory, Room N018.

There is a refrigerator located in the foyer that is available 24 hours/day for specimens before 8 a.m., after 5 p.m., weekends and holidays.

Laboratory hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, Room N018

  • Kim R. Geisinger, MD, Director - Ext. 5-9281
  • Dianne E. Grunes, MD - Ext. 4-1536
  • Israh Akhtar, MD - Ext. 4-2971
  • Rhonda Alexander BS (SCT), Manager - Ext. 4-1585
  • Maria Gonzalez, MD - Ext. 4-1876
  • Varsha Manucha, MD - Ext. 4-1570
  • Stephen Rabb, MD - Ext. 4-1561


The Cytopathology Laboratory provides cytologic evaluations of gynecologic, nongynecologic, and fine needle aspiration biopsy/core samples from all body sites. The samples require immediate preservation or refrigeration due to the very fragile nature of cells, and special staining to most accurately determine their neoplastic or non-neoplastic potential. In addition, certain cytologic samples require special processing, i.e., cytocentrifugation, or cell block procedures. The next several pages of this handbook consist of a list of cytopathology procedures with special requirements for each specimen type. For more information, call ext. 4-1550.

Fine needle aspiration/core biopsy

The cytopathologist performs FNA biopsies of peripheral palpable masses. Cytopathologists also provide for the evaluation of sample adequacy, sample procurement, and/or slide preparation at the bed side (inpatient and outpatient), for fine needle aspiration and/or core biopsy performed by the patient’s attending physician, by Radiology, or by the pathology staff. To schedule this support, call ext. 4-1550.


For special procedures during regular working hours do not hesitate to call the pathologist on call at ext. 41550.

Instructions for completion of cytology requisitions

All Gyn and Non-Gyn orders should be completed in EPIC, printed, and submitted with the sample to the Cytopathology Laboratory, N018.

See “Cytology: Gyn and Non-Gyn: Order entry tips” below.

Instructions for completion of University Outreach hospitals and clinics requisitions

All outreach hospitals and clinics should use the University Outreach Pathology Requisition to order tests for cytopathology. Below is an example form.

path---cytopathology-requisition.jpgProper sample/specimen container labeling

All specimen containers are required to be labeled. The label must include two identifiers:

  • Patient's complete first and last name
  • Medical record number

Additional information may include:

  • Date of collection
  • Date of birth
  • Sample type

Preferred labeling method:

  • Printed bar-coded data label generated at the time of collection to be placed on the body of the container. DO NOT PLACE LABEL ON THE SCREW TOP.
  • Slides must be labeled with two identifiers. Labeling the cardboard slide holder or biohazard bag is not sufficient.

Specimen transport requirements

All samples brought to Cytopathology should be transported in a secondary container, e.g., biohazard bag, etc., in accordance with OSHA guidelines. Additionally, accompanying requisitions should be placed in the outside pouch of the biohazard bag and NOT be placed in contact with the sample to avoid potential contamination from leaks or spillage. Samples should be logged in and placed on the top shelf of the refrigerator.