Pap test

A screening test for cervical cancer based on the examination under the microscope of cells collected from the cervix, smeared on a slide and specially stained to reveal premalignant (before cancer) and malignant (cancer) changes as well as changes due to noncancerous conditions such as inflammation from infections. Also called a Pap smear. The Pap technique was developed by and named after George Papanicolaou (1883-1962), a Greek-born physician and scientist who moved to the U.S. In 1923, while looking at vaginal smears from women with cervical cancer, Papanicolaou saw cancer cells. After two decades of research on this subject, he reported in 1943 that both cervical and uterine cancer could be detected in their early stages with this test that has, since its inception, saved innumerable lives.

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Papanicolaou test an exfoliative cytological staining procedure for detection and diagnosis of various conditions, particularly malignant and premalignant conditions of the female genital tract (cancer of the vagina, cervix, or endometrium). Cells that have been desquamated from the genital epithelium are obtained by smears, fixed and stained, and examined under the microscope for evidence of pathologic changes. The test is also used in detection of human papillomavirus infection, evaluation of endocrine function, and diagnosis of malignancies of other organs, such as the breast or organs of the respiratory tract and lungs, gastrointestinal tract, or urinary tract. Called also Pap or Papanicolaou smear. See also Papanicolaou stain, at Stains and Staining Methods under stain.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Pap test — Intervention ICD 9 CM 795.00 …   Wikipedia

  • Pap test — /pap/ 1. a test for cancer of the cervix, consisting of the staining of cervical cells taken in a cervical or vaginal smear (Pap smear or pap smear) for examination of exfoliated cells. 2. a vaginal Pap smear used to evaluate estrogen levels. 3.… …   Universalium

  • Pap test — Pap′ (or pap′) test [[t]pæp[/t]] n. 1) med a test for cancer of the cervix, consisting of the staining of cells taken in a cervical or vaginal smear(Pap′(or pap′) smear )for examination of exfoliated cells 2) med a vaginal Pap smear used to… …   From formal English to slang

  • pap-test — s.m.inv. ES ingl. {{wmetafile0}} TS med. test per la diagnosi precoce dei tumori e di altre affezioni del collo dell utero, basato sull esame citologico di un campione di secrezioni prelevato per via vaginale Sinonimi: striscio vaginale, test di… …   Dizionario italiano

  • Pap test — Pap smear UK / US or Pap test UK / US noun [countable] Word forms Pap smear : singular Pap smear plural Pap smears American a cervical smear …   English dictionary

  • Pap test — ☆ Pap test [pap ] n. [after G. Papanicolaou (1883 1962), U.S. anatomist] the microscopic examination of cells taken as a smear (Pap smear) from the cervix of a woman, used as a test for uterine cancer in its early, curable stage …   English World dictionary

  • pap-test — {{hw}}{{pap test}}{{/hw}}(med.) Metodo diagnostico dei tumori al collo dell utero al primo stadio. ETIMOLOGIA: locuz. ingl., abbrev. di Pap(anikolau) test, dal nome del medico greco G. Papanikoláu (1883 1962) …   Enciclopedia di italiano

  • Pap test — 1963, short for Papanicolaou (1947) in reference to George Nicholas Papanicolaou (1883 1962), Greek born U.S. anatomist who developed the technique of examining secreted cells to test for cancer …   Etymology dictionary

  • Pap test — n. a test done by a cervical smear. Etymology: abbr. of G. N. Papanicolaou, US scientist d. 1962 * * * noun a method of examining stained cells in a cervical smear for early diagnosis of uterine cancer • Syn: ↑Papanicolaou test, ↑smear test •… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Pap-Test — Zwei Zellen mit Chlamydien Vakuolen (Mitte) neben normalen Epithelzellen im PAP Test. Der Pap Test wurde 1928 von dem griechischen Arzt George Papanicolaou entwickelt. Er beruht auf der Beurteilung von gefärbten Zellabstrichen vom Muttermund der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Pap test — A procedure in which cells are scraped from the cervix for examination under a microscope. It is used to detect cancer and changes that may lead to cancer. A Pap test can also show noncancerous conditions, such as infection or inflammation. Also… …   English dictionary of cancer terms


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