Abnormal cervical cytology in adolescents: a literature review

J Adolesc Health. 1992 Dec;13(8):643-50. doi: 10.1016/1054-139x(92)90057-i.


This article reviews the literature on the subject of cervical cytological abnormalities in teenagers, defined as a Papanicolaou (Pap) smear result more severe than inflammation. There is discussion of the increasing prevalence of this problem in adolescents. Behavioral and biologic risk factors are examined. The role of the human papillomavirus, widely believed to be the etiologic agent, is addressed. Atypia, its relationship to cervical malignancies, and its management are reviewed. The possible role of the human immunodeficiency virus in the increasing prevalence of cytological abnormalities in teens is considered.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Cervix Uteri / pathology*
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / pathology
  • Humans
  • Papanicolaou Test
  • Papillomaviridae*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Tumor Virus Infections / epidemiology*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Uterine Cervical Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Uterine Cervical Diseases / microbiology
  • Uterine Cervical Diseases / pathology
  • Vaginal Smears