Pr Dr Michel Mittelbronn
National Center of Pathology
Head of NCP
+352 621 206 732
The gynaecological cytology service of the LNS was established following the informal national cancer screening program for cervical cancer introduced in 1962 in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.
The detection of cancerous or precancerous cervical lesions is performed by using a microscopic cytological examination of a smear from the cervix. This technique was developed in the 1940s by Dr Papanicolaou.
When the microscopic examination reveals the presence of atypical or suspicious malignant cells, other tests are then called for as appropriate: a colposcopic examination, additional investigative tests, such as testing for High Risk Human Papillomavirus, and possibly biopsies from the cervix uteri.
Since the introduction of cervical cancer screening throughout the world, the incidence of this type of cancer has dropped dramatically in frequency. Prior to that, it was the primary cause of cancer deaths among women.
In addition to cytological analysis in connection with this preventive program, the cytology service performs Pap smears for patients who have presented abnormalities in previous smear tests; it also performs testing on specimens of Pap smears for High Risk Human Papilloma Virus (HR-HPV), which causes 90% of cervical cancers. If needed, these tests are performed according to European recommendations in this area or at the request of the prescribing physician.
Finally, using the same sample for the Pap smear, the cytology service may perform testing for infectious pathogens related to some sexually transmitted diseases (Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Mycoplasma genitalium).