Search entire library by keyword
OR
Choose by letter to browse topics
A B C D E F G H I J K LM N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
(A-Z listing includes diseases, conditions, tests and procedures)
Can't find a health topic, click here to tell us what's missing
Share this page: More
 
 

Cytology

Cytology

What is cytology?

Cytology is the examination of a single cell type, as often found in fluid specimens. Used extensively to diagnose cancer, cytology is also used in screening for fetal abnormalities, pap smears, diagnosing infectious organisms, and other screening and diagnostic areas.

The cells to be examined may be obtained through the following methods:

  • Scraping or brushing the tissue surface

  • Body fluids

  • Fine-needle aspirations (removing cells by drawing them through a fine needle)

  • Other types of tissue incisional or excisional biopsy 

Cytology is different from histology. Cytology generally involves looking at a single cell type, while histology is the examination of an entire block of tissue. 

Experience Our Care

Find a Doctor Who Specializes in...
 
 
 
 
 

© The Johns Hopkins University, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Johns Hopkins Health System. All rights reserved.

Privacy Policy and Disclaimer | Legal Disclaimer