Cytologic-histologic correlation (CHC) is a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments–mandated requirement for gynecologic cytology, but no similar requirement exists for nongynecologic cytology. This study presents the findings from a College of American Pathologists’ survey of nongynecologic cytology practice patterns.


To survey the current CHC practices for nongynecologic cytology.


Data were analyzed from a survey developed by the committee and distributed to participants in the Nongynecologic Cytopathology Education Program mailing.


Adoption of CHC for nongynecologic cytology cases is worldwide, with 88.5% of institutions performing CHC on these specimens, a substantial increase from previous years. Performance of CHC varied by institution type, with clinic or regional/local independent laboratories and national/corporate laboratories performing CHC significantly less frequently than hospitals, university hospitals/academic medical centers, and Veterans Administration/Department of Defense hospital institutions. Most CHC was performed concurrently in real time, when the corresponding surgical specimen was reviewed. Selection for real-time concurrent CHC was by the interpreting pathologist, the pathologist diagnosing the surgical biopsy sample or cytopathology case, or both. Sampling was by far the most common reason for discordance. A 2-step difference was the most frequent threshold for discordance between cytology and surgical specimens, but this criterion varied among institutions, with no majority definition. The positive predictive value of a positive cytology finding was calculated rarely in North American institutions but was calculated more frequently in international institutions.


CHC practices for nongynecologic cytopathology mirror those found for CHC of gynecologic cytopathology.

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Author notes

Nguyen and Crothers are co-first authors.

The authors are or were members of the College of American Pathologists Cytopathology Committee, except Souers, who is an employee of the College of American Pathologists. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the US Government.

Competing Interests

The authors have no relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.