CONGRESS 2023 - UKNEQAS CPT Diagnostic Cytopathology Cell Block Scheme

Last updated: 21st September 2023

Cell blocks from Diagnostic Cytopathology (DC) samples have always had value in the diagnostic process as a complement to the traditional cytology stains – Papanicolaou and Romanowsky. It has become more important to provide material for Immunocytochemistry to refine malignant diagnosis, and more recently, the use of molecular testing to aid in the choice of tailored chemotherapy regimens. If this information can be obtained from DC samples, which are less invasive than biopsy samples, the patient will benefit. External Quality Assurance of cell block preparations has up to now been covered by the Tissue Diagnostic scheme. However, this is not entirely appropriate as cytopathology departments use a variety of cell block preparation methods and fixatives. The increase in number of cell block Haematoxylin and Eosin slides submitted to our evaluation service and the queries we receive regarding advice on best preparation methods suggested there was a need for a separate scheme for evaluation of cell blocks. A circulated survey indicated that there is a need for such a scheme. In response to this we performed 2 pilot studies which were well supported and successful, leading to the launch of the live scheme in April 2023. This presentation covers the development of the scheme and the results of the 2 pilots. As an ongoing process the scheme will be able to garner information about ‘best methods’ and this can be passed on to laboratories experiencing problems and improve standards. UKNEQAS CPT is not just a ‘tick box’ service for UKAS, it is also an advisory service which aims to improve diagnostic practices.

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27th September 2023
Venue: The International Convention Centre (ICC), Birmingham
Learning outcomes

Delegates will:

  • Understand the requirement for EQA for cytology cell blocks
  • Be updated on results of pilots so far
  • Learn about the challenges and changes to the scheme as a result of the pilots