Pap smears: screening, interpretation, treatment

Adolesc Med. 1999 Jun;10(2):243-54, vi.


Cervical cancer remains an important public health problem in the United States. Cervical dysplasia and rarely carcinoma in situ can occur during adolescence, especially in adolescents who become sexually active with multiple partners or who have been exposed to HPV, especially types 16 and 18. Papanicolaou smear is recommended for any adolescent who has ever been sexually active or exposed to human papillomavirus or is 18 years of age. This article discusses the new classification systems for cytological diagnoses, as well as some of the new types of Pap smear preparations, including the ThinPrep system and computer-assisted automated Pap test screening, which may increase the sensitivity of this screening test and reduce the false-negative rate of Pap smears.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Papanicolaou Test*
  • Papillomaviridae
  • Papillomavirus Infections / pathology
  • Papillomavirus Infections / therapy
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic
  • Tumor Virus Infections / pathology
  • Tumor Virus Infections / therapy
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / pathology*
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / therapy
  • Vaginal Smears / methods*


  • Reagent Kits, Diagnostic