Cytopathology is a boarded subspecialty of Anatomic Pathology. Broadly defined it is a diagnostic discipline that requires application of distinct and discrete sets of criteria for evaluation of patient samples from diverse anatomic locations. Specific diagnostic criteria are required because the unifying theme of cytology samples is the fact that cells are dispersed and therefore present outside the context of tissue architecture. That is to say, cells are either smeared onto a slide (conventional Pap test; brushings from airway, bile duct, etc.; fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy material) or suspended in a liquid medium and processed by varying techniques as appropriate (e.g. Liquid-based Pap test; CSF; effusion fluids; FNA material). Although the primary function of a cytopathologist is to appropriately apply cytopathologic criteria to arrive at an accurate diagnosis, it is also necessary to understand specimen procurement and specimen processing. It is essential for the cytopathologist to appreciate when a diagnosis cannot and should not be proferred; to appreciate the importance of clinical history in the formulation of Differential Diagnoses; and to appreciate the impact of a cytologic diagnosis on patient management.
 
The cytopathologist is a patient advocate that may decide when a procedure may be performed and which ancillary tests may be indicated. A cytopathologist performs FNA biopsies or assesses adequacy of an FNA procedure performed by another practitioner and as such is directly involved in patient care. Even when the cytopathologist is not involved in the performance of procedures, appropriate interaction with clinicians is critical in ensuring that patients receive optimal care. These are all activities in which many competencies play a role and become particularly interwoven. The cytopathologist must demonstrate professionalism in communicating with both patients and health care providers, competency in performance of procedure and/or specimen interpretation, understanding of the system in which he or she is practicing, and knowledge related to specimen handling and patient management. The cytopathologist must be able to appropriately triage specimens to permit optimal diagnostic evaluation and to avoid the need for repeat procedures.
 
Academic activities are also an important component of the UIC Cytopathology Division. Faculty, staff and residents are always involved in projects and opportunities for presentation and publication that enhance the cytology service. All of our Cytopathologists are board-certified in Cytopathology by the American Board of Pathology. All of our cytotechnologists are certified by the American Society of Clinical Pathology. A Cytopathology Fellowship Program is offered.

Services

We offer a complete range of services including Gynecologic and Non-Gynecologic Cytology, FNA biopsy interpretation, adequacy assessment and performance, and Consultation. We are always available to discuss test requests and results with submitting physicians.

Gynecologic Pathology

5.2.1-Figure-15.2.1-Figure-2

We accept liquid-based (Thin-Prep) PAP tests. All slides are screened by highly trained and experienced cytotechnologists. Ancillary computer-assisted review will be performed if requested. Rigorous quality control practices are integrated into our service. All abnormal tests are reviewed by a cytopathologist. High-risk HPV testing, including 16/18 genotyping, is also performed in the Cytopathology Laboratory.

 

Non-Gynecologic Pathology

Our laboratory is equipped to process the whole spectrum of non-gyn cytology specimens including CSF, pleural and peritoneal fluids, urinary tract cytology, breast secretions, and FNA biopsy material, to name a few. Ancillary testing such as flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry is always available if indicated.

FNA Biopsy Performance

5.2.3-Figure-15.2.3-Figure-2Our cytopathologists are available on demand to perform all services related to Fine Needle Aspiration biopsy, from performance to assessment of adequacy to interpretation. We perform aspiration biopsies of palpable masses, particularly in the head and neck area. We offer assessment of adequacy for image-guided aspiration biopsies of both superficial and deep-seated organs including breast, thyroid, pancreas, and liver, to name a few. We demonstrate the highest level of respect for our patients and fellow health care providers.

Consultation Services

We welcome cases for review from outside pathology laboratories, physician practice groups, healthcare organizations and individual patients. Please contact Odile David, M.D., at The University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Pathology (MC 847), 1740 W. Taylor St, Room 3116B, Chicago, IL 60612, or see contact information below for phone and email.

We accept liquid-based (Thin-Prep) PAP tests. All slides are screened by highly trained and experienced cytotechnologists. Ancillary computer-assisted review will be performed if requested. Rigorous quality control practices are integrated into our service. All abnormal tests are reviewed by a cytopathologist. High-risk HPV testing, including 16/18 genotyping, is also performed in the Cytopathology Laboratory.

Laboratory Director

Odile David, M.D., M.P.H.
Phone: 312-996-3879
Fax:     312-996-1346

Laboratory Supervisor

Michelle Kanter, ASCP(CT)

Contact Information:

Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
Phone:                              312-996-6029

Fax:                                    312-413-1346
Address:                          
Cytopathology Laboratory
‚Äč                                         University of Illinois Hospital, Rm 3114A
                                         1740 W. Taylor St.
                                         Chicago, IL 60612