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The Synovial fluid cytology service is mandated by the guidelines of the Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath) on turnaround times (TAT), that is, 80% of cases to be reported within seven calendar days and 90% of all cases to be reported within ten calendar days. TAT relates to the final local report and the department is required to publish monthly audit reports. This information is available on request.

However, sometimes a sample may be deemed urgent by the requesting clinician in these instances;

  • Urgent specimens will be processed on the same day if received by 13:30 hrs. Please provide a contact number or bleep and name.
  • We will aim to give a same day report, this may only be a provisional report pending further ancillary tests.
  • It is recommended that the requesting clinician discuss such specimens with the cytopathologist on 0161 276 5115/5116. in all cases, the clinician should telephone the laboratory in advance and provide a contact name and phone or bleep number.

Routine specimens will be processed on the same day provided that the sample is received by 11:00 hrs. This may vary depending on clinical information or if ancillary tests are required e.g special stains.

  • Synovial fluid cytology reports are printed and sent out daily, addressed to the consultant or GP who requested the test.
  • Reports of any Sepsis are telephoned.
  • To discuss the cytology report with the Consultant Cytopathologist, contact the department between 08:00 hrs and 17:00 hrs on 0161 276 5115/5116

(Last reviewed May 2023)