Effective April 15, 2024, Epithelial Cells will be added as a reportable field for Wet Prep specimens submitted to Clinical Pathology Laboratories (CPL). A Wet Prep is used for the rapid and inexpensive diagnosis of infections caused by Trichomonas vaginalis, Candida yeast, and organisms associated with bacterial vaginosis.

Currently, CPL qualitatively reports White Blood Cells, Clue Cells, Yeast, and Trichomonas, all of which should be absent in a nonpathogenic state. If more than the recommended 0.5 mL of saline is added to the sample, this may result in false-negative results for these tests due to dilution. The addition of qualitative Epithelial Cell reporting will serve as a quality control measure so that providers can better assess the quality of the specimen and the validity of the results.

If the results are “NONE SEEN” for White Blood Cells, Clue Cells, Yeast, Trichomonas, and Epithelial Cells, and there is a high clinical suspicion for an infectious process, this may indicate that the specimen was excessively diluted with saline. In these patients, re-collection and testing of another sample may be useful.