Cytology Service

The Cytopathology division of the Department of Pathology at Yale-New Haven Hospital provides preparatory and diagnostic services for all fluid, smear and aspiration specimens. The service processes and reads approximately 89,500 specimens per year. Of these, around 4300 are non-gyn specimens, including about 2650 fine needle aspirations (FNAs) and 300 consults. The service also provides a pathologist-performed superficial FNA service at the request of physicians within the hospital. On site adequacy assessment and preliminary interpretation of ultrasound, CT, and EUS fine needle aspirations are provided by cytotechnologists and the cytopathology fellow.

The laboratory occupies about 700 sq. ft. on the second floor (EP2-612) of the East Pavilion in Yale New-Haven Hospital, where all non-GYN specimens are processed. About 1/3 of the space is devoted to the preparatory lab, while the remaining space is devoted to specimen review and signout by cytology attendings, fellows, residents and cytotechnologists.

The lab is equipped with a Cytyc Thin Prep processor and an AutoCyte Prep system for production of thin layer preps. This process facilitates collection of material for routine diagnostic work while saving otherwise discarded material for ancillary tests or research purposes. The lab also maintains all necessary equipment for routine processing and staining cytologic specimens. Additionally, Cytopathology occupies lab space at 430 Congress Avenue, where all GYN specimens are processed. There, we have two FocalPoint Primary Screening Instruments, one Cytyc Imager, two Cytyc ThinPrep processors, and two Autocyte Prep systems.

The laboratory interfaces with immunohistochemistry and the molecular diagnostics lab on a routine basis. Material collected for cytologic analysis may be sent to either of those labs as necessary.

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 develop and maintain excellent communications with patient care clinicians and consulting pathologists to enhance the reputation and recognition of the Yale Pathology Services
  • 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