Cytology

General Information

The Cytopathology division of the Department of Pathology at the Yale-New Haven Hospital provides preparatory and diagnostic services for all fluid, smear and aspiration specimens. The goals of the service include: 

  • To maintain excellence in specimen preparation and diagnostic accuracy
  • To provide the highest quality consultative services to our clinical colleagues, both within our institution and elsewhere
  • To train residents, fellows, medical students and cytotechnologists in diagnostic cytopathology
  • To support and incorporate advanced diagnostic techniques to improve diagnostic accuracy
  • To pioneer new molecular techniques to increase the amount of information obtained from the minimal amounts of tissues received in the routine specimen

The service processes and reads about 70,500 specimens per year. Of these, around 3000 are non-gyn specimens including about 1300 fine needle aspirations (FNAs). The service also provides pathologist performed FNA service at the request of physicians within the hospital. On site adequacy assessments are also provided by cytotechnologists in both the ultrasound and CT suites. The division also provides case presentations for clinical conferences and teaching conferences for our residents.

Facility

The laboratory occupies about 700 sq. ft. on the second floor (EP2-612) of the East Pavilion of the Yale New-Haven Hospital. About 1/x3 of the space is devoted to the preparatory lab with capacity to handle all types of cytologic specimens. The lab is equipped with a Cytyc ThinPrep processor and an AutoCyte Prep system for production of thin layer preps. This process facilitates collection of material for routine diagnostic work will saving otherwise discarded material for ancillary tests or research purposes. The lab also maintains all necessary equipment for routine processing and staining cytologic specimens. We also occupy lab space at 430 Congress Avenue. There we have 2 NeoPath Primary Screening Instruments, 2 Cytyc ThinPrep processors and an Autocyte system as well as instruments used in staining and coverslipping of cytologic specimens. We have a Cepheid Smart Cycle system in place for the confirmation of all positive CT/GC specimens in the Digene system. We also utilize the Digene system for HPV and CT/GC testing. We utilize the Veridex system in looking for circulating tumor cells of breast origin.

The laboratory also interfaces with the immunohistology lab and the molecular diagnostics lab. Material collected for cytologic analysis may be sent to either of those labs, as indicated for certain case types. A cytologic material "tissue" bank is also established and maintained jointly with the Critical Technologies Division. Excess material received by Cytology is stored in alcohol based fixative. After cases are signed out, the material is entered into a database and stored for future research purposes. It is available to investigators, in accordance with the general guidelines of the Critical Technologies Division.

Consult Services

Complete cytopathology consult services including preparation, analysis, and ancillary studies (as necessary) are available and may be accessed at:

Cytology Service
Department of Pathology
Yale-New Haven Hospital East Pavilion 2-612
20 York Street
P.O.Box 208070
New Haven, CT 06520-8070
203.785.5430