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Lab Manual for UCSF Clinical Laboratories

Lab Manual for SFGH

Internal Resources

Cytopathology Service

Cytopathology Service

Contact Information


Division of Cytopathology

  • 1825 Fourth Street
  • Second Floor, Room L2190
  • Pathology, Box 4034
  • San Francisco, CA 94143
  • Phone: 415-885-7301
  • Lab: 415-353-7455
  • Fax : 415-353-7676

Main Cytology Administrative Office (Clinical Inquiries)

  • Phone: 415-353-7043



  • Nhu Thuy Can, MD
  • Joshua Menke, MD


The Cytopathology Division of the UCSF Department of Pathology offers expert diagnostic consultation services in all areas of Cytopathology, including Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy, by a team of nationally and internationally recognized expert cytopathologists. We provide a combination of excellent care and rapid turn-around time.

Most cytopathology staff members are located at Mt. Zion Hospital where they oversee a large fine-needle aspiration (FNAB) clinic. The FNAB clinic is open Monday-Friday 9:30 AM-5 PM for palpable masses of all organs, serving UCSF clinics and patients from other hospitals and from freestanding physicians offices.

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Cytopathology Services for Healthcare Providers
Service Name Moffitt Mt. Zion SFGH VAMC

Gynecologic and Anal Cytology

Request Service

Gynecologic specimens include exfoliative vaginal, cervical, and endocervical specimens, conventional smears and samples in thin layer media. We use the ThinPrep® method for processing thin layer samples, and the ThinPrep® Imaging System is used to aid in screening.

Anal Cytology is also rountinely performed. Both conventional smears and thin layer media samples may be submitted. We use the ThinPrep® method for processing thin layer samples.

Yes Yes Yes Yes

Non-Gynecologic Cytology

Request Service

Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsies of palpable lesions are performed in our Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy Clinic at Mt. Zion Hospital and at the Mission Bay Medical Center. On-site assistance is also provided at image-guided Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy procedures at all locations. FNAB samples from all sites are routinely evaluated.

Body Cavity Fluid Samples, from sites including pleural fluid, pericardial fluid, ascites, peritoneal washings and synovial fluid are routinely evaluated at all sites.

Urine (voided and instrumented), bladder washings, ureteral brushings, and urethral brushings are routinely evaluated at all sites.

Gastrointestinal specimens from sites such as esophagus, stomach, bile duct, duodenum, and colon are routinely evaluated at all sites.

Respirtatory specimens including sputum, bronchial brushings, and bronchial washings are routinely evaluated at all sites.

Central nervous systems specimens, including cerebrospinal fluid and brain cyst samples are routinely evaluated at all sites.

Various other sample types, such as breast nipple discharge, are also routinely evaluated at all sites.

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Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy Clinic

Request Service

Any palpable lesion of concern may be biopsied by Fine Needle Aspiration, with on-site adequacy evaluation and rapid turn-around time. For more information about this service, see the attached flyer or call 415-353-7043.

Yes Yes Yes Yes

Consultation Services

Request Service

Two services are available: Diagnostic Consultation (available to non-UCSF health care providers and patients) and Diagnostic Confirmation (available to UCSF health care providers).

The Diagnostic Consultation service offers second opinions on cytopathology diagnoses. Non-UCSF providers or patients may directly submit glass slides for a second opinion consultation by any of our diagnostic cytopathologists. A formal UCSF pathology report is generated for each consultation. We aim for expert care and efficient turn-around time. In addition to a copy of the original pathology report and the glass slides, we recommend a cover letter that includes as much detail as possible on clinical history, prior surgical procedures, and gross specimen findings. For bone and soft tissue and pulmonary cases, we strongly advise submitting all relevant radiologic images, either digitized on a CD-ROM or the actual films. This will maximize our evaluation of the case materials. Direct conversation with our pathologists by telephone is also encouraged.

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