The pathologist will send the results of your urine cytology test to your doctor, who will report the results to you.

Ask your doctor how long you can expect to wait for your results.

Each laboratory has its own way of describing the results of a urine cytology exam. Some common words used in pathology reports include:

  • Unsatisfactory specimen. This may mean that not enough cells or the wrong types of cells were found in your urine sample. You may need to repeat the urine cytology test.
  • Negative. This means no cancer cells were identified in your urine sample.
  • Atypical. This indicates some abnormalities were found in the cells in your urine sample. But while the cells weren't normal, they weren't abnormal enough to be considered cancer.
  • Suspicious. This term may indicate that urine cells were abnormal and may be cancerous.
  • Positive. A positive result indicates that cancer cells were found in your urine.

A urine cytology test can't be used alone to diagnose cancer.

If atypical or cancerous cells are detected using urine cytology, your doctor will likely recommend a cystoscopy procedure and a computerized tomography (CT) scan to examine your bladder and urinary tract for abnormalities.

Nov. 15, 2014