Practices of Participants in the College of American Pathologists Interlaboratory Comparison Program in Cervicovaginal Cytology, 2006 (CAP Laboratory Improvement Programs)
The College of American Pathologists (CAP) has conducted regular questionnaire surveys assessing cervical cytology laboratory practices since the inception of the Interlaboratory Comparison Program in Cervicovaginal Cytology. (1-5) These surveys have become the basis for the benchmarks in the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program). The first benchmarks were established using questionnaire surveys, (6) conducted in 1996 and 1997, and were subsequently updated in 2003 and in 2008 using supplemental questionnaire data. There have been 4 shifts in the practice of cytopathology since the 2003 supplemental questionnaire. First, widespread implementation of the 2001 Bethesda System (7) (TBS 2001) has occurred since its publication in 2002. Although TBS 2001 has been in use for more than 5 years, the present questionnaire investigates the extent of TBS 2001 permeation in enrolled laboratories as compared with the data obtained in 2003. Second, widespread use of liquid-based preparations (LBPs) for cervical cytology may affect reporting rates for various descriptive diagnostic categories. Third, image-based and automatic-screening technologies have been introduced, which may affect reporting practices in cytology. Finally, human papillomavirus (HPV) testing in conjunction with a Papanicolaou test in women older than 30 years and as a triage test for atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASC-US) in women older than 20 years are well established. (8,9) The goal of the Interlaboratory Comparison Program in Cervicovaginal Cytology 2006 supplementary questionnaire was to evaluate and quantify the changes in cytology laboratory practices, to identify the extent of the implementation of new technologies, and to quantify the reporting rates of LBPs.