Pap smear


Pap smear
or Papanicolaou smear

Sample of cells from the vagina and cervix of the uterus for laboratory staining and examination to detect genital herpes and early-stage cancer, especially of the cervix.

Developed by the Greek-born U.S. physician George Nicolas Papanicolaou (1883–1962), this technique also can be applied to cells obtained from other surfaces.

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also called  Papanicolaou smear 

      laboratory method (gynecological examination) of obtaining secretions from the cervix for the examination of cast-off epithelial cells to detect the presence of cancer. The Pap smear, named for Greek-born American physician George Papanicolaou, is notably reliable in detecting the early stages of cancer in the uterine cervix. Two specimens are usually taken for laboratory staining and examination, one consisting of vaginal secretions and the other of scrapings of the surface of the cervix, at the site where cancerous growth frequently originates. The Pap smear may reveal malignant cells not only from the cervix but also from the endometrium (the mucous coat of the uterus) and the ovaries. The traditional Pap smear, in which cells are literally smeared directly onto a glass slide, is now less common than the Pap test, in which the cells are first placed in a liquid medium before processing. The latter method has the advantage of allowing the laboratory technician to centrifuge the cells and to filter blood, mucus, and debris that can make slide interpretation difficult.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pap smear — UK / US or Pap test UK / US noun [countable] Word forms Pap smear : singular Pap smear plural Pap smears American a cervical smear …   English dictionary

  • Pap smear — pap n a method or a test based on it for the early detection of cancer esp. of the uterine cervix that involves staining exfoliated cells by a special technique which differentiates diseased tissue called also Papanicolaou smear, Papanicolaou… …   Medical dictionary

  • pap smear — pap smears also pap test N COUNT A pap smear is a medical test in which cells are taken from a woman s cervix and analysed to see if any cancer cells are present. [AM] (in BRIT, use smear) …   English dictionary

  • Pap smear — Pap ,smear or Pap ,test noun count AMERICAN a medical test in which cells are taken from a woman s CERVIX to check for cancer. British cervical smear …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Pap smear — n [Date: 1900 2000; Origin: George N. Papanicolaou (1883 1962), U.S. (Greek born) medical scientist] AmE a medical test that takes cells from a woman s ↑cervix and examines them for signs of ↑cancer British Equivalent: smear test …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Pap smear — noun a sample of secretions and superficial cells of the uterine cervix and uterus; examined with a microscope to detect any abnormal cells • Syn: ↑cervical smear, ↑Papanicolaou smear • Hypernyms: ↑smear, ↑cytologic smear, ↑cytosmear • …   Useful english dictionary

  • Pap smear — /ˈpæp smɪə / (say pap smear) noun a medical test in which a smear of a bodily secretion, especially from the cervix or vagina, is used to detect cancer in an early stage or to evaluate hormonal condition; cervical smear. Also, pap smear.… …   Australian English dictionary

  • Pap Smear —    The Pap test, a stain analysis technique for identifying atypical cells and malignancy in cervical tissue smears, was the invention of George Nicholas Papanicolaou (1883 1962). In the test he devised, a small spatula is inserted into the… …   Dictionary of eponyms

  • Pap smear — A procedure in which cells are scraped from the cervix for examination under a microscope. It is used to detect cancer and changes that may lead to cancer. A Pap smear can also show noncancerous conditions, such as infection or inflammation. Also …   English dictionary of cancer terms

  • Pap smear — noun Pap smear is used before these nouns: ↑test …   Collocations dictionary


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