I am trying to understand if a thorough exam includes a culture and biopsy or if a cytology is needed as well. Does a biopsy cover everything a cytology does and then some, or are they used for different reasons? thanks
Posted on Tuesday, March 09, 2004 - 11:09 am:
A cytology should always be performed in association with a culture in order to validate the culture results. With a biopsy, the sample may not be cultured although the cellular evaluation may reveal the same results that a cytology will. It should be noted though that a cytology will reveal only surface cellular material, whereas a biopsy may be capable of revealing that, although it is in fact designed to evaluate deeper tissue structure changes.
So, while a biopsy can cover the same things that a cytology does, it may not. The best diagnostic combination is therefore to do both the culture/cytology and biopsy, or make sure that the biopsy sample is cultured (this is where you can run into a problem - not all biopsy samples have a bacterial culture performed, and the combination of the diagnostic procedures can give you a faster results).
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