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Smears and Swabs

Smears and Swabs I read with interest the article "Quantitative Image Analysis Gives More Power to the Pathologist."1 However, I must draw your attention to an inaccuracy. In the first paragraph, "A woman visits her gynecologist for her annual Pap smear. The doctor takes a cervical swab." However, a swab is used to diagnose infection. A cervical smear is the means to gather cells required for cytological analysis. Amanda Watters Division of Cancer Sciences and Molecular Pathology Depart

Amanda Watters

Smears and Swabs


I read with interest the article "Quantitative Image Analysis Gives More Power to the Pathologist."1 However, I must draw your attention to an inaccuracy.

In the first paragraph, "A woman visits her gynecologist for her annual Pap smear. The doctor takes a cervical swab." However, a swab is used to diagnose infection. A cervical smear is the means to gather cells required for cytological analysis.

Amanda Watters
Division of Cancer Sciences and Molecular Pathology
Department of Pathology
Western Infirmary
Glasgow, Scotland, UK
adw10q@clinmed.gla.ac.uk

1. S. Jenkins, "Quantitative image analysis gives more power to the pathologist," The Scientist, 17[6]:36-8, March 24, 2003.

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