Aylesbury and cervitula spatulas: A comparative study to assess the adequacy of cervical smears
OBJECTIVE: To assess whether the Aylesbury (Pharmaceutical Enterprises Ltd., Pinelands, Capetown, South Africa) or Cervitula spatula (Harwill Medical, Capetown, South Africa) is more effective for adequate cervical smears in obstetric and gynecology patients. STUDY DESIGN: The Cervitula spatula was compared with the Aylesbury spatula by taking a total of 160 smears, which were examined cytologically. This consisted of 40 obstetric and 40 gynecology patients. The sequence in which the spatulas were used was determined by computer randomization. Our main outcome criterion was whether both ectocervical and endocervical cells were present, thus making the smear adequate. Our numbers were too small to draw conclusions on the cytologic abnormalities detected between the two spatulas. RESULTS: The Cervitula was more effective for the identification of endocervical cells in obstetric patients (P=.0008). When combining the obstetric and gynecology groups, the Cervitula was also better in obtaining endocervical cells, but this did not reach statistical significance (P=.016). CONCLUSION: Pap smear sampling with the Cervitula reduces the number of cases without endocervical cells, which would constitute an inadequate smear, requiring unnecessary recall of patients for repeat smears.