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Synovial fluid cytology

The Synovial fluid cytology service of Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CMFT) is located at the Manchester Cytology Centre, 1st floor of Clinical Sciences building 2. It is the largest unit of its kind in the country providing cervical screening using the SurePath Liquid Based Cytology System and a wide variety of non-gynaecological cytology services. Please see the Cervical Cytology User Manual for more information on cervical cytology services.

The non gynaecological cytology service provides a comprehensive specialist service, reporting on a wide range of samples including serous fluids, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, bronchoscopically obtained respiratory samples and fine needle aspirates (FNAs). We provide a diagnostic service to CMFT, Trafford General Hospital, the Christie Hospital and general practices. For more information please see the non gynaecological cytology User Manual.

The osteoarticular pathology service by synovial fluid analysis began in April 2011. Synovial fluid analysis is of greatest value in distinguishing inflammatory from non inflammatory arthropathies and in defining specific disorders within these two groups. It is also important in the diagnosis of early inflammatory disease where it might be possible on the basis of cytology to identify a specific arthropathy before the clinical syndrome develops. In these cases accurate early diagnosis often allows the institution of specific therapy before irreversible joint damage has occurred. Finally, it permits the very rapid diagnosis of joint disease, particularly in disorders such as septic arthritis, where the prognosis is inversely related to delay in diagnosis.

The department is fully CPA accredited and an approved IBMS training centre. We are closely associated with the North of England Pathology and Screening Education Centre (NEPSEC) and provide training to medics and scientific staff. We are fully committed to maintaining this accreditation by an established quality management system and standards determined by the Royal College of Pathologists together with scheduled clinical and quality audits and national guidelines. We are working towards full ISO 15189:2012 accreditation and adhere to the Data Protection Act 1998.

Reports generated by the Department of Cellular Pathology are, in the main, qualitative rather than quantitative'. Uncertainty of Measurement is considered and controlled throughout the sample pathway by employment of a robust quality management system and continued accreditation to national standards'. Where direct clinical impact measurements are made, assessments of uncertainty of measurement are made and are available on request.


(Last updated June 2nd 2016)