Medical Definition of Pap test

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Pap test: A screening test for cervical cancer that involves the microscopic examination of cells collected from the cervix, smeared on a slide, and specially stained. A Pap test can reveal premalignant and malignant changes in the cells, as well as changes that are due to noncancerous conditions, such as inflammation. Named after the physician George Papanicolaou, who developed the test. Also known as Pap smear.

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Reviewed on 12/12/2018

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