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  • Performing lab: Cytopathology (N018) Ext: 4-1550 
  • Availability: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday
  • Turnaround time: One to two working days. 
  • Specimen type: Sputum  
  • Container: Clean container with tight-fitting lid. 
  • Volume: 2-6 mL
    • Minimum volume: 2 mL

Special instructions

  • Collect sample in morning upon rising.
  • Specimen transport requirements
  • Cytologic specimens should be labeled with printed barcode labels (do not put label on tops)
  • Placed in a biohazard bag and transported with the printed requisition to the Cytology Laboratory, N018
  • Logged in and placed on the top shelf of the refrigerator

Patient preparation

  • Rinse mouth out with water before attempting to bring up sputum.
  • Cough deeply.
  • Deposit secretion coughed up from deep within bronchial tree into container.
  • Close container tightly, label on the body of the container (not the lid) and place in a biohazard bag.

Causes for rejection

  • Inadequate identification
  • Improper fixation
  • Specimen type not identified

More information

  • Complete the Non-Gyn cytology order in EPIC to include pertinent history, prior diagnostic/therapeutic procedures, X-ray, clinical findings, and results of prior surgeries.
  • Outreach facilities should use the preprinted “University Outreach Pathology Requisition” and submit with the sample.
  • Indicate request for additional special stains or other procedures.
  • Indicate if body fluid precautions are necessary.