Skip Navigation LinksSkip Navigation Links
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Safer Healthier People
Blue White
Blue White
bottom curve
CDC Home Search Health Topics A-Z spacer spacer
Blue curve MMWR spacer

Appendix B. Automated Rescreening of Pap Smear Slides

As of December 1997, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved two techniques for automated computer-assisted evaluation of cervical cytology smears. These instruments are marketed as PAPNET Testing System (Neuromedical Systems, Inc., Suffern, NY) and AutoPap 300 QC System (Neopath, Inc., Redmond, WA). Neither is approved for use in initial interpretation of Pap smears; the FDA limits use of these instruments to rescreening of smears previously interpreted as negative. These automated screening methods, intended for quality control and adjunctive testing, could reduce laboratory false negatives due to human error, but they will not eliminate false negatives. Their drawbacks are limited availability, higher cost, and operators' limited experience using them in clinical settings. A laboratory that uses these instruments is not necessarily less likely to have a serious problem, since laboratory personnel still provide interpretation of Pap smear specimens. If computer-assisted methods are being considered for rescreening slides when a laboratory is closed, public health officials should obtain current FDA labeling of the equipment, current HCFA policies, and the views of relevant professional organizations regarding use of the equipment.

Disclaimer   All MMWR HTML versions of articles are electronic conversions from ASCII text into HTML. This conversion may have resulted in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users should not rely on this HTML document, but are referred to the electronic PDF version and/or the original MMWR paper copy for the official text, figures, and tables. An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800. Contact GPO for current prices.

**Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to

Page converted: 09/19/98


Safer, Healthier People

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd, MailStop E-90, Atlanta, GA 30333, U.S.A


Department of Health
and Human Services

This page last reviewed 5/2/01