Gastric cytology

Last updated: Monday, 05, April, 2004

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Item Process

Directional reusable brush samples may be collected and rolled directly onto the surface of glass slides for immediate fixation in alcohol or, less commonly, air-drying and post-fixation in methanol. 

Disposable brush sample tips may be cut off into thin layer preparation solution if this technique is available. 

Brush samples should be taken prior to biopsies to reduce blood contamination. 

The technique is now less widely used following introduction of flexible fibre-optic endoscopy procedures. 

Where the technique is widely practiced sensitivity for cytologic examination can be higher than histological biopsy. 

Sensitivities of over 95% can be obtained for combined histology and cytology.


May be used in the investigation of a range of inflammatory conditions, benign and malignant epithelial tumours, and non-epithelial tumours eg, lymphomas.


Cytologic findings are reported by a pathologist with diagnostic interpretation given.


Deere A. In: Gray W and McKee GT eds. Diagnostic Cytopathology. 2nd ed. Churchill Livingstone 2003.