NHS cervical screening programme to introduce liquid based cytologyBMJ 2003; 327 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.327.7421.948-d (Published 23 October 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:948
- Susan Mayor
The NHS cervical screening programme in England and Wales is switching to liquid based cytology to minimise the number of smear tests that are unsuitable for testing. It is also going to change the frequency of screening to intervals based on age, it was announced this week.
The change followed pilot studies of liquid based cytology showing that it was associated with fewer “inadequate” cervical smear tests, so reducing the number of women recalled for repeat testing. Use of liquid based cytology was also associated with quicker reporting time.
The current screening programme, which uses the Pap smear test, requires a sample of cells to be collected–usually by a GP or nurse working in a community clinic–from the cervix with a disposable spatula. The sample is spread on …