‚ÄčThe Cytopathology service provides pathologic evaluation of exfoliative and aspiration specimens using cytologic methods, supplemented where necessary by a variety of state-of-the-art techniques, including immunohistochemistry, histochemistry, flow cytometry, microbiology, and molecular genomics. Our team consists of experienced and highly skilled cytopathologists, cytotechnologists, and laboratory technicians. We take a holistic, patient-centered, and multi-disciplinary approach to our practice, and we strive for the highest levels of operational quality, diagnostic accuracy, and clinically relevant reporting.

Fine needle aspiration of superficial and palpable lesions are performed both as scheduled procedures and on an emergent basis at the bedside, on hospital floors, or in outpatient clinics by our cytopathology fellow and faculty.  


 The services provided by the Cytopathology Service include the following:

  • Pap tests
  • Fine needle aspiration of superficial tumors: we perform, process and provide interpretations. To schedule a procedure, please call 858-657-6612 cytopathology fellow on weekdays between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM.
  • Cytological evaluation of body fluids (peritoneal and pleural, etc.)
  • Rapid on-site evaluations (ROSE) assistance, including for Computed tomography guided FNAs (CT-guided FNAs), Endobronchial ultrasound guided FNAs (EBUS-FNAs), Endoscopic ultrasound guided FNAs (EUS-FNAs), and Electromagnetic navigation bronchoscopy fine needle aspirations (ENB-FNAs).
  • Cytologic evaluation of non-gynecologic material, including specimens from the genitourinary tract (voided or catheterized urine, bladder wash, ureteral or renal pelvis washing/brushing), cerebrospinal fluids, gastrointestinal tract (various brushings and washings), upper airways (sputum, bronchial brushing/washing, bronchoalveolar lavage), and other sites.
  • Triage of cytologic material for molecular studies, flow cytometry studies, or microbiology cultures.
  • Consultation or second opinions on all types of cytology specimens.

For specimen submission information and other testing requirements, please see the Laboratory Services Guide at UC San Diego Health | search (

Cytopathology Fellowship

This fellowship is a one-year, ACGME-accredited program that offers advanced training in diagnostic Cytopathology. This fellowship places an emphasis on the fellow developing a high level of competence on the interpretation of fine needle aspiration biopsies, GYN, Non-gyn cytology specimens, as well as the utility and limitations of ancillary studies (immunohistochemistry, cytogenetics, flow cytometry and molecular diagnostics) in cytology practice. Substantial emphasis is placed on the correlation and integration of diagnoses in cytologic and corresponding surgical pathology specimens. The fellow will be trained to perform FNA biopsies by palpation and with ultrasound guidance. The fellow is required to start and complete a quality control research study during the fellowship and is encouraged to participate in resident teaching.

Meet the Faculty:

Farnaz Hasteh, M.D., Director of Cytopathology Service and Cytopathology Fellowship

Omonigho Aisagbonhi, MD., Ph.D

Jingjing Hu, M.D., Ph.D

Ahmed Shabaik, M.D.

Vera Vavinskaya, M.D.

Somaye Y. Zare, M.D.