The significance of certification in liquid-based cytology and performance in the College of American Pathologists Interlaboratory Comparison Program in Cervicovaginal Cytopathology

Andrew A. Renshaw, Dina R. Mody, Molly Walsh, Joel S. Bentz, Terence J. Colgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Context. - Morphology training and certification provided by the manufacturer is required before laboratories are allowed to prepare and interpret liquid-based cytology (LBC) gynecologic slides. Whether this certification is associated with improved LBC interpretation performance is not known. Objective. - To determine whether LBC certification correlates with performance. Design. - The results of the College of American Pathologists Interlaboratory Comparison Program in Cervicovaginal Cytopathology for the year 2004 were reviewed. During this year a question on the answer form asked participants whether they were certified in LBC preparations. Participant responses were analyzed at 2 levels of agreement with the reference diagnosis of unknown glass slides mailed quarterly. Results. - For cytotechnologists and pathologists, participants who were LBC certified had a significantly lower total discordant rate to series than participants who were not certified for validated LBC ThinPrep (Cytyc Corp, Marlborough, Mass) preparations (P < .001 for both groups). The results were similar for validated conventional preparations for pathologists but not for cytotechnologists. The differences were present across most individual diagnostic series. Differences were most striking for low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions. In addition, cytotechnologists and pathologists who were certified had a significantly lower total discordant rate to the exact diagnosis for validated LBC ThinPrep slides than those who were not certified (discordant rates for cytotechnologists, 14.14% and 23.36%, respectively, P < .001; for pathologists, 15.99% and 24.07%, respectively, P < .001). Conclusion. - Although not all confounding factors were excluded in this study, LBC certification is associated with a significantly lower discordant rate to both series and exact diagnosis for validated LBC ThinPrep preparations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1269-1272
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Volume130
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology

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