The Papanicolaou test (also called Pap smear, Pap test, cervical smear, or smear test) is a screening test used to detect potentially pre-cancerous and cancerous processes in the endocervical canal (transformation zone) of the female reproductive system.
Types of PAP Test :
- Conventional Pap—In a conventional Pap smear, samples are smeared directly onto a microscope slide after collection.
- Liquid based cytology—The Pap smear sample is put in a bottle of preservative for transport to the laboratory, where it is then smeared on the slide.
The patient may also be referred for HPV DNA testing, which can serve as an adjunct to Pap testing.
|Summary of pap test indications|
|never had sexual contact||no test||HPV usually transmitted by sexual contact
|under age 21, regardless of sexual history||no test||more harms than benefits
|age 20–25 until age 50–60||test every 3–5 years if results normal||broad recommendation
|over age 65; history of normal tests||no further testing||recommendation of USPSTF, ACOG,ACS and ASCP;
|had total hysterectomy for non-cancer disease – cervixremoved||no further testing||harms of screening after hysterectomy outweigh the benefits
|had partial hysterectomy – cervix remains||continue testing as normal|
|has received HPV vaccine||continue testing as normal||vaccine does not cover all cancer-causing types of HPV
|post-operative transgender woman||no test||the neo-vagina does not contain a cervix and cannot be evaluated with a pap smear|