Background: The Papanicolaou (Pap) smear is an effective method for early detection of cervical cancer. The routine practice of staining is to immediately fix the cervical smear in 95% ethyl alcohol. An alternative method of rehydrating the air-dried cervical smears followed by fixation and conventional staining method can overcome most of the problems associated with short supply and storage of alcohol, wet fixing of slides and transporting them to the cytology centre if the Pap smears are prepared at a peripheral centre. There are only few studies regarding rehydration of cervical smears as a substitute for wet fixation. Aim: The current study was undertaken to assess this technique as an alternative method for conventional wet-fixed smears. Material and Methods: This study was done over a period of 15 months in a tertiary care setup. Two sets of 461 cervical smears were examined; the smears in the first set were fixed in 95% ethyl alcohol and the other set of 461 smears was air dried, rehydrated and then fixed in 95% ethyl alcohol. Both the smears were stained with Pap stain, examined for preservation of cytomorphological features and evaluated using the modification of parameters given by Ng et al. [Acta Cytologica 1994;38:56-64]. Results and Analysis: Two sets of 461 smears each, one air dried and rehydrated and the other wet fixed in alcohol, were evaluated for cytomorphological preservation, and comparison was done. In wet-fixed smears, morphology was excellent in the majority of cases (80.7%). Cytomorphology was optimal in 18% and suboptimal in 1.3% of the cases. The air-dried and rehydrated smears showed excellent morphological preservation in 67%, followed by 29.9% optimal and 2.8% suboptimal preservation. The p value was >0.05, which was not significant. Conclusion: Rehydration, followed by fixation of air-dried smears, is a simple, feasible, applicable and reliable fixation technique which is comparable to the wet-fixed conventional technique used for cervical smears and can be applied for evaluation on a routine basis.

Padubidri VG, Daftary SN: Gynecologic oncology; in Padubidri VG, Daftary SN: Howkins and Bourne Shaw's Textbook of Gynecology, ed 13. New Delhi, Elsevier, 2006, pp 374-406.
Singh U, Singh R, Srivastava AN, Misra JS, Singh N, Quereshi S, et al: AgNOR count and its diagnostic significance in cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. J Obstet Gynecol India 2006;56:244-246.
Randall B, Van Amerongen L: Commercial laboratory practice of air-dried/rehydrated cervicovaginal smears vs traditionally fixed smears. Diagn Cytopathol 1997;16:174-176.
Bonime RG: Air-dried smears for cytologic studies. Obstet Gynecol 1966;27:783-790.
Gupta S, Sodhani P, Chachra KL: Rehydration of air-dried cervical smears: a feasible alternative to conventional wet fixation. Obstet Gynecol 2003;102:761-764.
Shiddham VB, Kamalpalath B, England J: Routine air drying of all smears prepared during fine needle aspiration and intraoperative cytology study. An opportunity to practice a unified protocol offering the flexibility of choosing a variety of staining methods. Acta Cytologica 2001;45:60-68.
Chan JK, Kung IT: Rehydration of air-dried smears with normal saline. Application in fine needle aspiration cytological examination. Am J Clin Pathol 1988;89:30-34.
Dahlstrom JE, Holdsworth J, Bassett ML, Jain S: Rehydration of air-dried smears: an alternative method for cytologic analysis of exfoliative cells. Acta Cytologica 1999;43:214-217.
Jones CA: Papanicolaou staining of air-dried smears: value in rapid diagnosis. Cytopathol 1996;7:333-339.
Ng WF, Choi FB, Cheung LLH, Wu C, Leung CI, Ng CS: Rehydration of air-dried smears with normal saline. Application in fluid cytology. Acta Cytologica 1994;38:56-64.
Zare-Mirzaie A, Khalili-Alam K, Abolhasani M: Rehydration of air-dried cervical smears: an alternative to routine wet fixation. Acta Medica Iranica 2007;45:365-368.
Lencioni LJ, Staffieri JJ, Cardonnet LJ: Vaginal and urinary sediment smear staining technique without previous fixation, adapted to Papanicolaou's and Shorr's staining method. J Lab Clin Med 1954;44:595-599.
Jaiwong K, Nimmanhaeminda K, Siriaree S, Khinamornpong S: The cytomorphologic comparision between air-dried and conventional wet-fixed Pap smears. J Med Assoc Thai 2006;89:1811-1816.
Sivaraman G, Iyenger KR: Rehydrated air-dried Pap smears as an alternative to wet-fixed smears. Acta Cytologica 2002;46:713-717.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.