Plastic spatula with narrow long tip provides higher satisfactory smears for Pap test

Pervinder Kaur, Pralhad Kushtagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Ayre spatula for cervical smear collection is being used despite the suggestion that different modified spatulas provide more satisfactory sampling. Aims: To see whether the cytological pickup improves with the use of long tipped spatula. Setting and Design: Rurally based University Hospital; crossover study. Materials and Methods: Pap smear using Ayre spatula in 500 and with plastic narrow long tip (Szalay) spatula in 500 clinic attending women was taken and analyzed. Crossover smears were taken with modified spatula in 163 and using Ayre spatula in 187 women after 2 weeks of initial smears. The same pathologist made cytological reporting for all smears and was unaware of the type of spatula used. Results: Smears from Ayre spatula had significantly higher reports of inadequate smears (94 of 500 vs. 68 of 500 for Ayre and Szalay, respectively; P = 0.032) and it remained so even after crossover (94 of 187 vs. 70 of 163 for Ayre and Szalay, respectively; P = 0.2). Cellular quality appeared better with smears taken using Szalay spatula, but the overall abnormal smear detection rate remained similar with either collection tool (χ2 = 1.5; P = 0.2). Conclusions: Proportion of satisfactory smears is higher when long tip plastic spatula is used for collection of sample.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-161
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Cytology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01-07-2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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