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 so that they have a standardized language for reporting and communicating any changes to cells that may pose health risks.

Last Updated: January 5, 2009

Author: Sandy Jocoy, RN

Medical Review: Joy Melnikow, MD, MPH - Family Medicine & Kevin Holcomb, MD - Gynecologic Oncology

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