ThinPrep® PAP Test Cervex Brush Protocol

Please Note:  Our cytology services are suspended until further notice due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Note expiry date on sample collection vial. Do not use expired vials.

  • Ensure the entire plastic seal is removed from the lid of the vial and discarded.

  • Complete patient details on both the request form and the vial. Specimens may be returned if details are missing from the vial.
  • Remove the lid from the vial before taking the sample.
  • If lubrication of the speculum is required a little warm water or a small amount of a water-soluble lubricant such as KY Jelly may be used. It is important to avoid contaminating the cervix with lubricant as this may cause the sample to be unsatisfactory. Care must be taken not to place the lubricant at the tip of the speculum.



  • If excessive mucus is present, this should be gently removed before sampling.
  • Use either the Cervex Brush (broom-like device) on its own or a Plastic spatula and endocervical brush combination.
  • The Cervex Brush should be rotated 5 times in a clockwise direction. The Plastic spatula should be rotated through 360 degrees and the endocervical brush rotated through one quarter to one half turn.
  • Immediately rinse the collected material into the vial.
  • Replace the lid and tighten so that the black torque line on the cap passes the black torque line on the vial to avoid leakage.
  • Keep the unlabelled portion of the sample vial free of labels so that the contents can be seen.
  • If barcoded labels are used these must be applied horizontally around the vial.
  • Samples should be sent to the laboratory without delay.


  • DO NOT routinely clean the cervix or take a cervical swab before taking a cervical sample.
  • An endocervical brush should never be used in isolation.
  • DO NOT under any circumstances use a wooden spatula.
  • DO NOT leave the collection device sitting in the vial whilst dealing with the patient.
  • DO NOT over-tighten the lid on the vial.
  • DO NOT detach the head of the Cervex Brush into the vial.
  • DO NOT place multiple labels on the outside of the vial.
  • DO NOT apply barcoded labels vertically on the vial.
  • DO NOT use expired vials.
  • DO NOT delay the sending of vials to the laboratory. The sample needs to be processed within 3 weeks of collection.
  • DO NOT use excessive lubricant.


Sample taking 1  


…the patient's full name and date of birth on the vial.
…the patient information and medical history on the cytology requisition form.


Sample taking 2  


…an adequate sample from the cervix using a Cervex Brush (broom-like device). Insert the central bristles of the brush into the endocervical canal deep enough to allow the shorter bristles to fully contact the ectocervix. Push gently and rotate the brush in a clockwise direction five times.

Sample taking 3   RINSE…

…the Cervex Brush immediately into the PreservCyt Solution vial by pushing it into the bottom of the vial 10 times, forcing the bristles apart. As a final step, swirl the brush vigorously to further release material. Visually inspect the Cervex Brush to ensure that no material remains attached. Discard the brush.

Do not leave the head of the Cervex Brush in the vial.
Sample taking 4  


…the cap so that the black torque line on the cap passes the black torque line on the vial. Do not over-tighten.


Sample taking 5  


…the vial and requisition in a specimen bag for transportation to TDL.