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BD SurePath™ liquid-based Pap test

Our BD SurePath™ brand defines a liquid-based Pap test that improves disease detection.

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The BD SurePath™ liquid-based Pap test provides advantages over conventional Pap smears and other liquid-based cytology (LBC) tests, resulting in greater disease detection.

Features and Benefits
100% of cells for the lab
The test features two-in-one brushes with detachable heads, and ethanol-based vials that preserve samples and ensure that 100% of the cells arrive at the lab.
Cell enrichment
The unique BD cell enrichment process separates and removes blood, mucus and interfering materials from the sample, transferring only the most diagnostically relevant material to the slide.
Reduced unsats and patient recalls
As a result of both the sample collection method (that sends 100% of cells to the lab, well-preserved) and cell enrichment (that removes all debris), the test exhibits lower unsats than any other method, decreasing patient callbacks and sample reprocessing.
Increased abnormal cell detection
After the steps from collection to cell enrichment, the result is a clear presentation of cells to increase HSIL+ detection compared to that of conventional pap slides.
Duplicated 2D barcodes
When used with the BD Totalys™ system, the BD SurePath barcodes allow positive sample identification (PSID) from collection through cytological and molecular testing, providing greater confidence in results.
Ethanol-based preservative
The preservative is noncarcinogenic, eliminating concern over handling or storing the vial.

Why a liquid-based Pap test?

Download the BD SurePath™ liquid-based Pap test brochure

Liquid-based cytology (LBC) is a different way to do the Pap test. Developed in the 1990s, this method presents the following differences compared to the conventional Pap test, resulting in increased sensitivity:1

Sample collection and transfer
In the conventional Pap test, the cells are collected and smeared directly onto glass slides, and they need to be fixed immediately; usually, using a spray fixative. The problems with this approach are that not all cells are transferred onto the slides, the cells are not in a single layer, the slides can be broken during transportation and the cells can be damaged until they arrive at the lab. In LBC, the cells are placed into a vial with a preservative, which preserves them for weeks and protects them from damage during transport to the lab. The slide, with the cells in a single layer, is prepared in the lab and not by the doctor or nurse.

Sample adequacy

In the conventional Pap test, samples with a lot of blood, mucus and inflammatory cells are typically considered 'unsatisfactory for interpretation' and, as a result, patients are often recalled.

Slide clarity

Conventional slides do not feature a clear background or organize cells in a single layer. These limitations make finding abnormalities harder, which can impact the accuracy of results.


With the conventional Pap test, additional molecular and biomarker tests cannot be run. The ability to run such tests is important in today's environment with evolving guidelines.


  1. Nance KV. Evolution of Pap testing at a community hospital: a 10-year experience. Diagn CytoPathol. 2007;35(3):148-153.

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