Journal of Cytology
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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 31  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 154-157

Efficacy of rapid, economical, acetic acid, Papanicolaou stain in cervical smears as an alternative to conventional Papanicolaou stain

1 Department of Pathology, Rohilkhand Medical College and Hospital, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, India
2 Department of Pathology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Shabnam Izhar
Akash Puram Colony, Lala Begum Jagatpur, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-9371.145648

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Background: Papanicolaou (Pap) stain has been used over the years for cervical cytology screening. However; it utilizes a considerable amount of alcohol which is expensive and difficult to procure. In one of the modifications, ethyl alcohol is replaced by 1% acetic acid and is termed as rapid, economical, acetic acid Papanicolaou (REAP) stain. It is cost effective, easily available and provides a suitable and rapid staining alternative. Aim: This study was undertaken to assess the efficacy of REAP stain as an alternative method to conventional Pap stain. Materials and Methods: This study was done over a period of 18 months in a tertiary care hospital. Two sets of cervical smears were prepared of which one was stained with conventional Pap stain, and other was stained with REAP stain. The smears were examined for cytomorphological parameters and were evaluated using a modification of parameters given by Ng et al. Results: A total of 737 smears were examined in duplicate. Most of the conventional Pap smears showed excellent preservation (91.6%) with very few showing optimal (7.6%) and sub-optimal staining (0.8%). In contrast to this excellent preservation was seen in just 33.6% of the REAP stained smears with majority showing optimal and sub-optimal preservation (46.5% and 20% respectively). The P value was statistically significant (<0.0001) depicting inferior staining quality of REAP stain. Conclusion: Rapid, economical, acetic acid Papanicolaou stain undoubtly is a simple, fast and cost effective stain which can be adopted mainly in resource limited settings, but cannot be utilized for research purpose in a tertiary care setup due to poor preservation of the staining quality.

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