Tzanck smear

Alphabetical Test listing

Tzanck smear-6301

Tzanck smear
Giant cells
Multinucleated cells
Vesicle scraping
  1. Use a wooden spatula or edge of glass slide to break the vesicle and drain the fluid
  2. Use a spatula or edge of new clean glass slide to scrape the base of the vesicle and gently spread the material onto another labeled clean glass slide.
  3. Allow slides to air dry
  4. It is preferable to submit more than one slide, each slide fixed immediately, rather than applying successive samples of material to the same slide.
  5. Label each slide
    1. Labeling must be in pencil on the frosted surface of each slide. DO NOT send unlabeled slides in a labeled container.
    2. Slides must be labeled with two patient identifiers, preferably last name, first initial, and date of birth.
    3. Include the source on each slide (i.e. L Arm or Labia)

When smear has thoroughly dried, place into a slide container

  • Non-GYN Cytology request


  • Unlabeled or mislabeled specimen
  • Unlabeled slide in a labeled slide container
  • Leaking specimen if label has been rendered unreadable
  • Slide broken beyond repair
AHL - Cytology: A
2 days

Microscopic examination