ARUP Test Catalog
ARUP Consult Guide
Lab Tests Online
 
Tzanck Prep

Mnemonic:     
Name:    Tzanck Prep
Specimen:     The smear is prepared by breaking and removing the top of a medium-sized, fresh vesicle. Scrape the floor of the broken vesicle with a wooden tongue depressor and smear it on to a clean labeled slide. Fix immediately with cytology spray fixative or immerse it in 95% ethanol (70% ETOH is acceptable if 95% is unavailable). The slide MUST be fixed immediately at bedside. If not immediately fixed the sample will be destroyed in the time it takes to walk from bedside to the nursing station.

Swabs are unacceptable.
Note:    These smears are for the diagnosis of cellular changes associated with herpes virus, including multinucleated giant cells.
Specimens must be properly identified with full patient name and unique identifying # (MR# or DOB) and accompanied by a laboratory requisition or a cytology order with specimen source and pertinent clinical information noted.
Processing Info:    If the nursing unit does not have any cytology spray fixative, there should always be some under the cytology hood. Flammable products must never be sent through the pneumatic tube system. They will have to come down to pick it up prior to sample collection.