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.

Different labs have different ways of describing the results of a urine cytology test. Some common words used in pathology reports include:

  • Unsatisfactory specimen. This can mean that not enough cells or the wrong types of cells were found in your urine sample. You may need to repeat the test.
  • Negative. This means no cancer cells were identified in your urine sample.
  • Atypical. This indicates that some abnormalities were found in your urine sample cells, but they weren't abnormal enough to be considered cancer.
  • Suspicious. The urine cells were abnormal and might 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, your doctor will likely recommend a cystoscopy procedure and a CT scan to further examine your bladder and urinary tract.

Nov. 04, 2017
  1. Campbell SC, et al. Screening for bladder cancer. Accessed Aug. 17, 2017.
  2. Can bladder cancer be found early? American Cancer Society. Aug. 17, 2017.
  3. Barkin GA, et al. The Paris system for reporting urinary cytology: The quest to develop a standardized terminology. Acta Cytologica. 2016;60:185.
  4. Sullivan PS, et al. Review article: Urine cytology and adjunct markers for detection and surveillance of bladder cancer. American Journal of Translational Research. 2010;2:412.