In the Cytology Section, we perform cell morphology diagnosis based on the microscopic characteristics of the cells and extracellular components present in various biological samples.
Our activity is focused on:
As compared to biopsy, collecting cytologic samples is easier, less costly, and less invasive. Sample processing is also simpler and turnaround time is faster. Furthermore, cytologic samples encompass wider areas than biopsy samples. Cytology often enables detection of lesions that are not visible microscopically. This is the case of peritoneal lavage study, cervical-vaginal cytologies, and studies of pleural effusion or ascites. The limitations are related to the inability to directly evaluate the architecture of the lesions. Therefore, cytology is an initial screening and diagnostic technique associated with a good benefit-to-cost ratio for patient care.
Samples are obtained by fine-needle aspiration (FNA) puncture of lesions localized by palpation or under imaging guidance, by collection of fluids, and by exfoliative cytology; that is, collection of material that spontaneously detaches or is recovered from the surfaces of organs. This procedure is less invasive than those used to obtain biopsies.
FNA of palpable masses is performed by specialists in the Sample Extraction Center on appointment. Following puncture and aspiration, the cell preparations are microscopically assessed in situ to evaluate the quality of the sample and to properly manage the material obtained.
In addition to conventional cytology studies and implementation of liquid-based cytology, we also use the biological analysis techniques inherent to highly specialized laboratories:
The Section organizes weekly seminars in Hospital Clínic de Barcelona (30 teaching hours per year) on Wednesday or Friday from 8.30 a.m. to 9.30 a.m., which are accredited by the Catalan Council of Continuing Medical Education