Gynaecological cytology

Our range of examinations comprises:

  • Conventional method (slide smears)
  • Thin-layer method in liquid medium (ThinPrep)

In accordance with guidelines issued by the Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Gynäkologie (Swiss Society of Gynaecology), we confine ourselves to the international Bethesda System ((3rd edition, 2014)) when providing diagnoses.

Additional tests performed on the ThinPrep in cooperation with our Molecular Diagnostics department using PCR:

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) (see preanalytics)
  • Chlamydia
  • Gonococci


General information

Please consult our information on gynaecological cytology preanalytics.

Clinical Cytology

Please take note of the following submission instructions:



Fix conventional slide smears immediately (prevent air drying by immediately fixing the specimen in 96% alcohol or, in exceptional cases, using fixative spray)


Bodily fluids

Submit immediately without supplements. Submit the entire (!) puncture specimen.
Important: all bodily fluids must be stored in a cool place until they are submitted.



Collect a sample of morning sputum after rinsing the mouth and throat.
Submit immediately without supplements. It is best to repeat this examination on three consecutive days.

Simultaneous microbiological examination of the samples is possible. Please make a clear note of your wish for this to be performed on the submission form (and request form for microbiological examination).


Nipple secretions

The ideal solution would be to either place nipple secretions directly into ThinPrep or
prepare slide smears and fix immediately (avoid air drying), fixation with 96% alcohol or fixative spray.



Second morning urine after forced diuresis (24-hour urine and first morning urine are unsuitable).
Clean the external genitals prior to collecting a sample, submit immediately without supplements.


Irrigation fluids

(e.g. urinary tract, peritoneum): Submit the entire sample of irrigation fluid.
Submit immediately without supplements.


Cerebrospinal fluid

In order to obtain the best result, the sample (at least 2 mL) must be processed within one hour. If this is not possible, the sample can be submitted in ThinPrep medium.
Advance registration by telephone is necessary (044 269 99 88) and the specimen must be sent in by courier immediately.


Preservation of fine-needle puncture material

Place 2-3 generous conventional smears in 96% alcohol (containers can be ordered from us, no. 02001640).
Preserve the rest of the aspirate in Cytolyt (cell blocks, molecular pathology).
Please send all types of cysts in their original form.


Preservation in the case of enlarged lymph nodes

Cytological examination of enlarged lymph node of unclear aetiology:

  • Generalised / reactive inflammation
  • Specific inflammation (e.g. toxoplasmosis, tuberculosis, etc.)
  • Metastases
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
    – low malignancy
    – high malignancy
  • Hodgkin’s lymphoma

If non-Hodgkin lymphoma is suspected based on clinical data or ultrasound imaging, it is recommended that additional preservation of puncture material in NaCl or PBS solution is undertaken for immunophenotyping (for FACS analysis / flow cytometry).

Your contact person

DrSandra Kilgus-Hawelski, deputy institute director

Head of cytology
Specialist in Pathology and Cytology FMH

044 269 99 24

Our Cytology is an SIWF certified continuing education center.

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