Pathology dictionary

Inadequate

What does inadequate mean?

Inadequate means there were not enough cells in the tissue sample to make a diagnosis. A tissue sample may also be called inadequate if all of the sample is made up of blood or inflammatory cells such as macrophages, neutrophils, and histiocytes. This result is typically only used to describe a small tissue sample such as a fine needle aspiration, Pap smear, or biopsy.

Inadequate does not mean normal and your doctor should not interpret this result as a final diagnosis. In most cases, a second tissue sample should be collected and sent for microscopic examination.

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