cytology examines a sample of sputum (mucus) under a microscope to determine
whether abnormal cells are present. Sputum is not the same as saliva. Sputum is
produced in the lungs and in the airways leading to the lungs. Sputum has some
normal lung cells in it. See a picture of the
lungs' airways .
Sputum cytology may be done to help detect
certain noncancerous lung conditions. It may also be done when
lung cancer is suspected.
A sputum sample
may be collected:
- By a person coughing up mucus.
breathing in a saltwater (saline) mist and then coughing.
bronchoscopy, which uses a bronchoscope to look at the
throat and airway.
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Robert L. Cowie, MB, FCP(SA), MD, MSc, MFOM - Pulmonology
November 1, 2012
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