Frequently asked questions about the Pap test with the Szalay Cyto-Spatula

Why is the spatula so hard, doesn’t it cause injury?

In order to obtain a representative sample of cell material, the gynaecologist needs to take a careful smear with a suitable instrument. If the instrument is too soft, it would be impossible to obtain fresh, representative cells from the cervix uteri. Cancer often develops in the deep epithelial layers of the cervix uteri, where no cells will be obtained at all if the instrument is too soft. If the Szalay Cyto-Spatula is used correctly, as shown in the video, there is absolutely no danger of injury.

Is it bad if there is blood in the smear?

If the smear is taken correctly and carefully – as shown in the video clip – then blood in the smear represents no problem for the cytologist, who is used to differentiating between different cell types.

When is the best time to have a smear test?

The optimal time for a smear test is in the middle of the woman’s menstrual cycle or around the time of ovulation.

Is a smear test with the Szalay Cyto-Spatula painful?

No, a smear test with the Szalay Cyto-Spatula is not painful. The cervix uteri has no pain-sensitive nerves. If the patient finds the test painful this is more likely to be caused by another problem.

Why are there different sizes?

Every woman’s portio is different in size and shape. Choosing the correct Szalay Cyto-Spatula guarantees the optimal result, whatever the anatomy of the patients. A perfect smear is thereby obtained.

Why do you say that the spatula can create a monolayer?

By correctly smearing the cells obtained onto the glass slide using the Szalay Cyto-Spatula, as shown in the video clip, a monolayer is created, due to the special surface of the Szalay Cyto-Spatula.

How is it that I am faster and more reliable with the spatula than with other smear test instruments?

The Szalay Cyto-Spatula is a smear test instrument which can obtain sufficient good quality cells from all cervix uteri areas with only one swab and only one action.

How do I obtain a representative smear?

When used correctly, the special form and surface of the Szalay Cyto-Spatula guarantees a cytological smear which always contains sufficient good quality cells from all areas of the cervix uteri. The specially shaped surface of the Szalay Cyto-Spatula causes provoked exfoliation, whereby cells from deeper epithelial layers can be obtained.

Why is the Szalay Cyto-Spatula surface special?

The surface is special in order to obtain good quality, representative cells and to create a monolayer when smearing the cells onto the glass slide.

Why do I receive fewer false negative results with the spatula?

The most frequent causes of false-negative smear tests are:

  1. On the part of the clinician: failure to obtain enough cytological material with an unsuitable cervical smear instrument
  2. On the part of the cytologist: findings with false negative diagnosis (Pap 1 or 2) due to unrepresentative cell material in the swab.
  3. From the biological point of view: 

a) Endocervical changes: the squamocolumnare transition zone, which is the decisive area for the development of cervical carcinoma, is often located in an endocervical position. The cervical intraepithelial neoplasia is therefore endocervical origin in 15 – 20% of cases. This means that early detection is possible neither with a colposcope nor with the classic cytological methods of obtaining specimens.

b) The upper epithelial layers inhibit the collecting of representative cytological material. In a significant number of severe dsyplasiae, carcinomata in situ and invasive carcinomas, the Dierks keratinisation zone forms a thick hyperkeratotic layer. This impedes the spontaneous exfoliation of the tumour cells lying in the deeper layers and, in the case of substance collection with instruments which are too soft, represents an unassailable barrier. Blood supply and metabolic disorders in the surface layers of invasive carcinomas lead to degeneration and necrosis. This necrosis layer prevents the collection of cells from the carcinoma layers located beneath it. This explains the many false negative cytological findings in the case of invasive carcinomas. 

Regarding the case cited above: the Szalay Cyto-Spatula enables enough representative cell material from these areas to be collected.

Why is it important to use the spatula even with the thin layer method?

The first and most important step in cervical cancer screening is to collect representative cells from the cervix uteri, because all further procedures are based on this first step. The most expensive, follow-on technical methods and analytical steps are useless if the smear does not obtain sufficient representative cell material.

What is the most important criterion for a smear test?

The most important criterion is the collection of sufficient representative cells from all areas of the cervix uteri.

Why is the Szalay Cyto-Spatula not sterilised?

The production process of the Szalay Cyto-Spatula takes place in very hygienic conditions. It is manufactured under extremely high pressure and temperature. Germs cannot survive in these conditions. After production, the Szalay Cyto-Spatula is packed immediately in the most hygienic environment by specially trained staff wearing surgical masks and gloves. The cervix uteri is not at all sterile and the application of the Szalay Cyto-Spatula occurs only at surface level and is non-invasive. Many millions of Szalay Cyto-Spatulas have been used successfully for more than 25 years. In some cases, the gynaecologist will dip the spatula in a disinfecting solution before use.