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The Bethesda System for Pap Tests


The Bethesda System (TBS) for Pap tests is a classification system developed by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This system provides detailed information about the quality of the cell sample and the types of cell changes found.

Doctors who take the cell sample and laboratory specialists (cytologists) who examine the cervical cells use TBS. This system provides a standardized language for reporting and communicating any changes to cells that may pose health risks.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerSarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerKirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
Last RevisedDecember 12, 2012

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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