Objective: The cell block (CB) technique refers to the processing of sediments, blood clots, or grossly visible tissue fragments from cytological specimens into paraffin blocks that can be cut and stained by the same methods used for histopathology. The technique brings additional tissue architectural information. CB can be used for ancillary techniques such as immunocytochemistry and molecular techniques. Study Design: We reviewed the literature on the various preparatory techniques of CBs. Results: There is a wide range of preparatory techniques for CBs and no golden standard for CBs exists: tens of methods are used in various institutions. The majority of the methods are modified in house techniques with a few commercially available kits. The techniques most commonly used are the plasma/thrombin method, the agar method, and commercially available Histogel- and Cellient CB-methods. Dissatisfaction with the cellular yield of the CBs is common. Conclusions: In the CBs, the cytological material is preserved for future use, which is a tremendous advantage in the era of targeted therapy and biobanking. The CB is thus central to the future of cytology: more can be done with less material and with less invasiveness to the patient.

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