Transformation zone sampling rate is a useful performance indicator for practitioners collecting cervical samples using SurePath liquid-based cytology system

Cytopathology. 2007 Aug;18(4):220-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2303.2007.00454.x. Epub 2007 Jun 18.


An analysis of the reports of 53 982 liquid-based cytology (LBC) samples processed at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle, reveals a significant relationship between the transformation zone (TZ) sampling rate observed in specimens submitted from different practices and their overall detection rate for dyskaryosis. The observed correlation (R = 0.184; P = 0.033, CI = 0.017 to 0.397) is very similar to that described previously using conventional cervical smears and confirms the potential relevance of TZ sampling rates as an indicator of consistently effective specimen collection. The correlation between unsatisfactory sample rates and detection rates for high-grade dyskaryosis (R = -0.188, P = 0.030, CI = -0.865 to -0.045) also shows a significant relationship for LBC samples which was not previously seen in conventional smears. The essential role of smear taker feedback, the use of transformation zone sampling and unsatisfactory smear rates as key indicators and the practical issues relating to routine reporting of transformation zone components are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cell Nucleus / pathology*
  • Cytodiagnosis / methods
  • Cytodiagnosis / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Medical Audit
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality Assurance, Health Care
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Vaginal Smears / methods*
  • Vaginal Smears / statistics & numerical data