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The Cytopathology Division of the Department of Pathology at North Shore-LIJ Health System offers state-of-the-art technologies and a complete test menu including conventional and ThinPrep Pap Test, fine needle aspirations and circulating tumor cell search, among others. Cytopathology diagnoses have a very important role in the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of a variety of medical conditions.


For more than 25 years, the Cytopathology Laboratory has provided accurate diagnoses for the community, serving patients and physicians. More than 80,000 specimens are processed and analyzed every year by highly skilled laboratory personnel, cytotechnologists and experienced board certified cytopathologists with vast diagnostic experience. Our staff is involved in the education of residents and fellows, forging the new generation of pathologists.

The Cytopathology Division staff works as a team in providing excellent patient care by offering personalized customer service to patients and physicians and by continuous quality improvement.

Expert Consultation

  • Dr. Mohamed Aziz, Senior Director of the Cytopathology Division, is board certified in Anatomic Pathology and Cytopathology. He is Assistant Professor of Pathology at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine and at New York Medical College. Dr. Aziz has authored multiple articles published in various medical journals and has presented his work at numerous meetings. His main areas of interest are all aspects of cytopathology, breast, and soft tissue and bone. Dr. Aziz's experience prior to joining North Shore-LIJ includes serving as Chief of Pathology at Saint Vincent's Cancer Center in Manhattan and Vice President of Omegapath Diagnostics Corporation in Utica, NY. For a brief period, Dr. Aziz was the ship's doctor of the World Expedition Cruise, "Lindblad Explorer."
  • Dr. Ilan Reder is board certified in Anatomic Pathology and Clinical Pathology, and Cytopathology. He is Assistant Professor of Pathology at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He is interested in various aspects of Anatomical Pathology, Cytopathology of Pancreas and Fine Needle Aspirations.
  • Dr. Rubina Cocker, Assistant Professor of Pathology at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, is board certified in Anatomic Pathology, Clinical Pathology and Cytopathology. Dr. Cocker is involved with teaching Cytopathology and surgical Pathology to the pathology residents, fellows, and cytotechnologists. She is interested in various aspects of Cytopathology, especially Fine Needle Aspiration of thyroid, pancreas, and salivary glands. In surgical pathology, Dr. Cocker's interests include Ocular, ENT and Gyn Pathology.


  • Fine needle aspiration (FNA) of palpable lesions is performed by Cytopathologists offering the advantage of rapid preliminary diagnoses in the majority of cases. The nature of some specimens may require additional studies such as immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry. The organs most commonly aspirated are the lymph node, thyroid, salivary gland and breast. On-site microscope adequacy assessment is also offered to Radiologists and Endoscopists to ensure proper collection, triaging and cellular adequacy. The cytopathology faculty is expert in thyroid, pediatric, urologic and pulmonary disease, among others.
  • ThinPrep Imaging System is a semi-automated screening device that increases Pap test accuracy. Specimens are collected in liquid-based fixative and processed as monolayer preparation.
  • We offer a complete non-gyn test menu for virtually any cytopathology specimens: urine, effusions, cysts, washings and brushings.
  • Second opinions are offered to physicians and patients to confirm previously diagnosed cytopathology specimens.
  • Circulating tumor cells – FDA-approved testing used to monitor treatment response helps predict survival in patients with breast, prostate or colorectal cancer, prior to a new course of therapy and at follow-up.

Timely Results

The diagnosis of fine needle aspiration and non-gyn specimens is completed in 24–48 hours and the Pap tests are completed in three days.

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