Department of Pathology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea. firstname.lastname@example.org
Conventional cervical smears have been a great tool to reduce the incidence of cervical cancer; however, many studies have revealed significant false negative rates. To resolve this problem, the liquid based cytology (LBC) method was developed. The LBC method reduces the number of false positive and false negative smear results because LBC achieves an even distribution of monolayered cells, eliminated the obscuring effects of inflammation and blood.
Although the LBC method has many advantages, there are several drawbacks. The LBC method requires an adaptation period for cytopathologists and cytotechnicians. Another drawback is the expense of the method. Thus, the LBC method has been questioned, and criticism has been raised regarding the design of the studies that assert its superiority. With a focus on the cytomorphologic and technical differences of LBC compared with conventional cervical smears, a review of the clinical and cost effectiveness of LBC, a brief comparison of two popular LBC methods, and the basic concepts of study design with respect to LBC are presented in this review.