A single blind crossover study compared the traditional Ayre spatula with the new Aylesbury spatula. The study group consisted of all women attending the department of genitourinary medicine during a 16 month period. The same incidence (3.6%) of dyskaryotic smears was found using the Ayre spatula (74/2077) as the Aylesbury spatula (72/2003). The incidence of smears with endocervical cells, however, was significantly greater using the Aylesbury (33.4%) than the Ayre (20.4%) spatulas, despite there being no difference in the incidence of smears with epithelial abnormalities. Quantitative studies thus showed that the Aylesbury gave no more accurate results than the Ayre spatula.
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