The importance of immediate verification of a cervical cytological abnormality with histology

Indian J Cancer. Oct-Dec 2013;50(4):292-6. doi: 10.4103/0019-509X.123591.


Background: A serious proportion of the patients with invasive cervical cancer can be women who have had abnormal smear findings known for at least 6 months.

Aims: The aims of the study were to evaluate the cervical cytohistopathologic correlation in the population studied, and to discuss the acceptability of immediate histological verification for minor Papanicolaou smear abnormalities.

Materials and methods: A total of 443 patients who were admitted with abnormal smear results and had undergone immediate colposcopy, cervical biopsy and endocervical curretage in the gynecologic oncology clinic between the years of 2003-2009 were enrolled into the present retrospective study. One-way analysis of variance and independent t-tests were used to study the results.

Results: The distribution of abnormal smear results were documented as 46.27%, 29.57%, 13.76%, 7.67%, 1.58%, 0.67%, and 0.45% for atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASC-US), low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL), high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL), atypical squamous cells cannot exclude high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (ASC-H), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), atypical glandular cell (AGC), and adenocarcinoma, respectively. The percentages of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2-3 (CIN 2-3) and greater lesions were 70.49%, 35.29%, 15.26%, and 9.75% for HSIL, ASC-H, LSIL, and ASC-US, respectively. Moreover, 38.36% of all the CIN 2-3 or cancer (n = 104) cases originated from those with low grade referral diagnosis (ASC-US and LSIL).

Conclusions: The majority of cases in the study were predominantly ASC-US and LSIL and approximately 40% of all the high grade lesions came from those with low grade referral diagnosis. This shows poor cytohistopathological correlation and calls the triage of minor cytological abnormalities into question.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / diagnosis
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / pathology*
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / virology
  • Colposcopy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Papanicolaou Test
  • Papillomavirus Infections / diagnosis
  • Papillomavirus Infections / pathology*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology
  • Pregnancy
  • Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions of the Cervix / diagnosis
  • Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions of the Cervix / pathology*
  • Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions of the Cervix / virology