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UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital

UW Hospital and Clinics Lab Test Directory

Test Name: Cytology, ThinPrep Pap Test with Reflex to HPV

Test Code(s): HCPATHP

CPT Code(s): 88142, 88175

Test Description: Test Component:


Pap and HPV Testing FAQ's


ThinPrep Pap Collection video

Clinical Significance: If HPV is requested with a Pap, it must only be ordered within the Pap as a reflex test. HPV testing cannot be ordered independently of the Pap order as an HPVDNA normal/office collect or add-on. See the HPVDNA test directory option for more information.

Current ASCCP HPV triage recommendations are based on reflexing HPV off of Pap result and patient's age. Our lab staff triage for HPV ordering based on your order request within the Pap order and the ASCCP criteria.  See the Pap and HPV Testing FAQ's link in the Test Description field above.

Pap tests are computer imaged by the Hologic ThinPrep Imaging System prior to review by a cytotechnologist (cpt 88175).  The Imager selects areas on a slide that may contain abnormal cells. If abnormal cells are located in the areas identified by the imager the entire slide is reviewed by the cytotechnologist.  Studies have shown that the imager increases the sensitivity for detecting ASCUS and the specificity for detecting HSIL.  Not all ThinPrep Pap slides can be imaged.  Specimens with obscuring inflammation, blood, amorphic debris, or scant cellularity are manually reviewed (cpt 88142).
Compared to a conventional Pap smear, the ThinPrep Pap Test has demonstrated increased sensitivity and specificity for detection of low grade and high grade squamous intra-epithelial lesions. Specimen adequacy has also improved with the ThinPrep Pap Test.

Request Form: Cytopathology (UWH 1280520A)

Days Performed: Mon-Fri, 0800-1700.

Turnaround Time: Routine: 3 working days.

Specimen Requirements

Specimen: See collection instructions.

Patient Preparation: Avoid vaginal medications, vaginal lubricants, vaginal contraceptives, or douches 48 hours prior to the Pap Test.

Do not schedule a Pap Test during menses.

Perform a visual exam of the cervix. If excess mucus or other discharge is present, gently remove with a dry gauze pad prior to sample collection.

Collection Instructions: Always check the expiration date on the ThinPrep vial prior to collecting the specimen. Specimens collected in expired vials will not be processed.

1. Rotate plastic spatula at least 1 full turn around the cervical os and ectocervix.
2. Quickly rinse the spatula in the PreservCyt vial. Swirl vigorously 10 times. Discard the spatula.

3. Insert the brush into the os until just the bottom bristles are exposed. Slowly rotate 1/4 to 1/2 turn in one direction only. DO NOT OVER ROTATE.
4. Quickly rinse the brush by rotating and pushing it against the vial wall 10 times; vigorously swirl the brush again. Discard the brush.

1. Insert the central bristles into the endocervical canal; allow the shorter bristles to fully contact the ectocervix.
2. Push gently and fully rotate the broom CLOCKWISE 3-5 times.
3. Quickly rinse the broom in the vial. Push the broom against the bottom of the vial 10 times. Swirl again vigorously.
4. Discard the entire device.

For both protocols, tighten the vial cap so the torque line on the cap passes the torque line on the vial. Label the vial with a pre-printed patient label.

See Test Description field to view video on ThinPrep Pap Collection.

Collection Container: Preferred: ThinPrep PreservCyt Solution Vial 20 mL

Collection Volume: Preferred: 20 mL

Specimen Transport: Place specimen inside a biohazard bag with the request form in the outside pocket of the bag. Transport specimen to UWHC Core Laboratory (B4/220).

Unacceptable Criteria: Failure to tighten the cap on the PreservCyt vial may cause loss of the specimen.

Stability: Ambient: 3 weeks
Frozen: Not Acceptable


Report provides interpretation.  Please call the UWHC Cytology Lab at (608) 263-3205 for further information.

Test Limitations:

Over rotation of the endocervical brush does not increase cell yield, but may cause bleeding. Abnormal findings must be correlated with history and other test results.

Additional Information:

Paperwork must include patient name, medical record number, birth date, specimen source, collection date, clinic and phone number, clinicia's full name and pager number, pertinent clinical history, LMP date and results of previous Pap test.


Refer to  for collection information.


Refer to Pap and HPV Testing FAQ's for answers on more frequently asked questions.

Pap Smear, Cervical, Vaginal, Thinprep

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