Ancillary Investigations

  • Pam Michelow
  • Tanvier Omar
  • Liron Pantanowitz
Part of the Essentials in Cytopathology book series (EICP, volume 17)


The use of ancillary investigations in cytopathology improves diagnostic accuracy, helps subtype microorganisms, and determines their antimicrobial sensitivity. Newer detection methods are being increasingly introduced into routine clinical practice such as in situ hybridization (ISH) and molecular tests. This chapter covers the gamut of ancillary tests available for use with cytology specimens applicable to infectious diseases. Various stains including routine, special, and fluorescent stains are discussed, as well as cell block technique, immunocytochemistry, and ISH. More advanced methods like flow cytometry, signal amplification assays, and PCR are explained, as well as the role of traditional microbiology studies like serology and culture.


Cell Block Special Stain Fluorescent Stain Ancillary Investigation Cresyl Violet Acetate 
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Thanks to Carina Aitken, Head of the Special Stains Section, Department of Anatomical Pathology, School of Pathology, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, SA, for ­invaluable advice on special staining procedures and pitfalls.

Suggested Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cytology Unit, Department of Anatomical PathologyUniversity of the Witwatersrand and National Health Laboratory ServiceJohannesburgSouth Africa
  2. 2.Division of Cytopathology, Department of Anatomical Pathology, School of PathologyNational Health Laboratory Service, and University of WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  3. 3.Department of PathologyUniversity of Pittsburgh Medical CenterPittsburghUSA

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