# 42 CFR § 493.1274 - Standard: Cytology.

§ 493.1274 Standard: Cytology.

(a) Cytology slide examination site. All cytology slide preparations must be evaluated on the premises of a laboratory certified to conduct testing in the subspecialty of cytology.

(b) Staining. The laboratory must have available and follow written policies and procedures for each of the following, if applicable:

(1) All gynecologic slide preparations must be stained using a Papanicolaou or modified Papanicolaou staining method.

(2) Effective measures to prevent cross-contamination between gynecologic and nongynecologic specimens during the staining process must be used.

(3) Nongynecologic specimens that have a high potential for cross-contamination must be stained separately from other nongynecologic specimens, and the stains must be filtered or changed following staining.

(c) Control procedures. The laboratory must establish and follow written policies and procedures for a program designed to detect errors in the performance of cytologic examinations and the reporting of results. The program must include the following:

(1) A review of slides from at least 10 percent of the gynecologic cases interpreted by individuals qualified under § 493.1469 or § 493.1483, to be negative for epithelial cell abnormalities and other malignant neoplasms (as defined in paragraph (e)(1) of this section).

(i) The review must be performed by an individual who meets one of the following qualifications:

(A) A technical supervisor qualified under § 493.1449(b) or (k).

(B) A cytology general supervisor qualified under § 493.1469.

(C) A cytotechnologist qualified under § 493.1483 who has the experience specified in § 493.1469(b)(2).

(ii) Cases must be randomly selected from the total caseload and include negatives and those from patients or groups of patients that are identified as having a higher than average probability of developing cervical cancer based on available patient information.

(iii) The review of those cases selected must be completed before reporting patient results.

(2) Laboratory comparison of clinical information, when available, with cytology reports and comparison of all gynecologic cytology reports with a diagnosis of high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL), adenocarcinoma, or other malignant neoplasms with the histopathology report, if available in the laboratory (either on-site or in storage), and determination of the causes of any discrepancies.

(3) For each patient with a current HSIL, adenocarcinoma, or other malignant neoplasm, laboratory review of all normal or negative gynecologic specimens received within the previous 5 years, if available in the laboratory (either on-site or in storage). If significant discrepancies are found that will affect current patient care, the laboratory must notify the patient's physician and issue an amended report.

(4) Records of initial examinations and all rescreening results must be documented.

(5) An annual statistical laboratory evaluation of the number of -

(i) Cytology cases examined;

(ii) Specimens processed by specimen type;

(iii) Patient cases reported by diagnosis (including the number reported as unsatisfactory for diagnostic interpretation);

(iv) Gynecologic cases with a diagnosis of HSIL, adenocarcinoma, or other malignant neoplasm for which histology results were available for comparison;

(v) Gynecologic cases where cytology and histology are discrepant; and

(vi) Gynecologic cases where any rescreen of a normal or negative specimen results in reclassification as low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL), HSIL, adenocarcinoma, or other malignant neoplasms.

(6) An evaluation of the case reviews of each individual examining slides against the laboratory's overall statistical values, documentation of any discrepancies, including reasons for the deviation and, if appropriate, corrective actions taken.

(d) Workload limits. The laboratory must establish and follow written policies and procedures that ensure the following:

(1) The technical supervisor establishes a maximum workload limit for each individual who performs primary screening.

(i) The workload limit is based on the individual's performance using evaluations of the following:

(A) Review of 10 percent of the cases interpreted as negative for the conditions defined in paragraph (e)(1) of this section.

(B) Comparison of the individual's interpretation with the technical supervisor's confirmation of patient smears specified in paragraphs (e)(1) and (e)(3) of this section.

(ii) Each individual's workload limit is reassessed at least every 6 months and adjusted when necessary.

(2) The maximum number of slides examined by an individual in each 24-hour period does not exceed 100 slides (one patient specimen per slide; gynecologic, nongynecologic, or both) irrespective of the site or laboratory. This limit represents an absolute maximum number of slides and must not be employed as an individual's performance target. In addition -

(i) The maximum number of 100 slides is examined in no less than an 8-hour workday;

(ii) For the purposes of establishing workload limits for individuals examining slides in less than an 8-hour workday (includes full-time employees with duties other than slide examination and part-time employees), a period of 8 hours is used to prorate the number of slides that may be examined. The formula -

$\frac{\text{Number of hours examining slides}×100}{8}$
is used to determine maximum slide volume to be examined;

(iii) Nongynecologic slide preparations made using liquid-based slide preparatory techniques that result in cell dispersion over one-half or less of the total available slide may be counted as one-half slide; and

(iv) Technical supervisors who perform primary screening are not required to include tissue pathology slides and previously examined cytology slides (gynecologic and nongynecologic) in the 100 slide workload limit.

(3) The laboratory must maintain records of the total number of slides examined by each individual during each 24-hour period and the number of hours spent examining slides in the 24-hour period irrespective of the site or laboratory.

(4) Records are available to document the workload limit for each individual.

(e) Slide examination and reporting. The laboratory must establish and follow written policies and procedures that ensure the following:

(1) A technical supervisor confirms each gynecologic slide preparation interpreted to exhibit reactive or reparative changes or any of the following epithelial cell abnormalities:

(i) Squamous cell.

(A) Atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASC-US) or cannot exclude HSIL (ASC-H).

(B) LSIL-Human papillomavirus (HPV)/mild dysplasia/cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 1 (CIN 1).

(C) HSIL-moderate and severe dysplasia, carcinoma in situ (CIS)/CIN 2 and CIN 3 or with features suspicious for invasion.

(D) Squamous cell carcinoma.

(ii) Glandular cell.

(A) Atypical cells not otherwise specified (NOS) or specified in comments (endocervical, endometrial, or glandular).

(B) Atypical cells favor neoplastic (endocervical or glandular).

(iii) Other malignant neoplasms.

(2) The report of gynecologic slide preparations with conditions specified in paragraph (e)(1) of this section must be signed to reflect the technical supervisory review or, if a computer report is generated with signature, it must reflect an electronic signature authorized by the technical supervisor who performed the review.

(3) All nongynecologic preparations are reviewed by a technical supervisor. The report must be signed to reflect technical supervisory review or, if a computer report is generated with signature, it must reflect an electronic signature authorized by the technical supervisor who performed the review.

(4) Unsatisfactory specimens or slide preparations are identified and reported as unsatisfactory.

(5) The report contains narrative descriptive nomenclature for all results.

(6) Corrected reports issued by the laboratory indicate the basis for correction.

(f) Record and slide retention.

(1) The laboratory must retain all records and slide preparations as specified in § 493.1105.

(2) Slides may be loaned to proficiency testing programs in lieu of maintaining them for the required time period, provided the laboratory receives written acknowledgment of the receipt of slides by the proficiency testing program and maintains the acknowledgment to document the loan of these slides.

(3) Documentation of slides loaned or referred for purposes other than proficiency testing must be maintained.

(4) All slides must be retrievable upon request.

(g) Automated and semi-automated screening devices. When performing evaluations using automated and semi-automated screening devices, the laboratory must follow manufacturer's instructions for preanalytic, analytic, and postanalytic phases of testing, as applicable, and meet the applicable requirements of this subpart K.

(h) Documentation. The laboratory must document all control procedures performed, as specified in this section.

[68 FR 3703, Jan. 24, 2003; 68 FR 50724, Aug. 22, 2003]