Pap Smear (cont.)

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What is the current status of the newer Pap smear technologies?

New technologies have been developed to try to circumvent the problem of false-negative Pap smears. False-negative results occur when a disease or condition is present but the test does not detect it. False-negative Pap smears (slides with abnormal cells judged to be "normal") are estimated to be between 5% and 30%.

The newer techniques using liquid-based cytology produces more accurate results.

Prepared slides are usually read by cytotechnologists who examine thousands of slides under a microscope every day. This exhausting process may be subject to human error. Computer systems have been developed to assist by providing an automated analysis of slides. Slides containing abnormally appearing cervical cells can first be automatically identified and then subjected to a second, manual re-screening.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/21/2015

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