Histopathology / Cytology

Please note that the cytology laboratory does not handle gynaecological cytology (smear tests).

All non-gynaecological cytology, exfoliative and aspiration specimens, are reported by Dr. Siobhan Nicholson and Dr. Aoife Maguire.

Cytology opening hours:

Monday-Friday 09:00-17:00. Please send CSF samples between 09:00 and 16:00 Monday to Friday. We also offer CSF processing service between 09:00 and 11.30 Saturday.

Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) Clinic:

We offer a weekly FNA clinic, where aspirates of clinically palpable masses are performed by a cytopathologist. This clinic slot is available on Tuesday afternoon from 14:00 using the phlebotomy treatment room off the main hospital reception area on Route 2. To book a patient into this clinic, please contact Dr. Nicholson (extn 2903) or Dr. Maguire (extn 2029).

Turnaround times: 
Please see separate section on target and typical turnaround times 

Please contact cytology laboratory through departmental office (Extension 2992; 01-4162992)

Submitting a cytology specimen:

All cytology specimens require an electronic order: this must be ordered through the electronic patient record (EPR) and a barcoded label stuck on the sample. Paper requests are not acceptable. Please see separate section on “how to raise a histology / cytology order” 

N.B. The “Order Comment” box should be used to communicate the specimen type and the clinical details. The clinical details are essential for optimal processing and reporting.

If patient is confirmed TB positive please indicate in clinical details.

If more than one laboratory request is required on a sample, e.g. both microbiology and cytology analysis, please split the sample at source and send a separate sample to cytology with a cytology order.

Microscopic examination for Pneumocystis (PCP) is performed in cytology not microbiology – split bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) and send separate sample to cytology with a cytology order.

CSF for cytology requires a separate sample to microbiology and a separate cytology order.

Please refer to this table for information on submitting specific specimen types.