Arrow In this section

The synovial fluid cytology service of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) is located at the Manchester Cytology Centre, 1st floor of Clinical Sciences Building 2, Oxford Road Campus.

It is the largest unit of its kind in the country providing cervical screening using the ThinPrep Based Cytology System and a wide variety of non-gynaecological cytology services.

The osteoarticular pathology service by synovial fluid analysis began in April 2011. Synovial fluid analysis is of greatest value in distinguishing inflammatory from non inflammatory arthropathies and in defining specific disorders within these two groups. It is also important in the diagnosis of early inflammatory disease where it might be possible on the basis of cytology to identify a specific arthropathy before the clinical syndrome develops. In these cases accurate early diagnosis often allows the institution of specific therapy before irreversible joint damage has occurred. Finally, it permits the very rapid diagnosis of joint disease, particularly in disorders such as septic arthritis, where the prognosis is inversely related to delay in diagnosis.

The department has ISO 15189:2012 accreditation, and is an approved IBMS training centre. We are closely associated with the North of England Pathology and Screening Education Centre (NEPSEC) and provide training to medics and scientific staff. We are fully committed to maintaining this accreditation by an established quality management system and standards determined by the Royal College of Pathologists together with scheduled clinical and quality audits and national guidelines.

Reports generated by the Department of Cellular Pathology are, in the main, qualitative rather than quantitative. Uncertainty of Measurement is considered and controlled throughout the sample pathway by employment of a robust quality management system and continued accreditation to national standards. Where direct clinical impact measurements are made, assessments of uncertainty of measurement are made and are available on request.

The laboratory adheres to Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust’s policies on data protection and disclosure. In addition the Trust also produces a patient information leaflet entitled “Your Information”.

(Last reviewed May 2023)