Cervical polyps: Is histologic evaluation necessary?

Pathol Res Pract. 2016 Sep;212(9):800-3. doi: 10.1016/j.prp.2016.06.010. Epub 2016 Jun 25.


Objective: The aim of this study was to examine a series of clinically identified cervical polyps and determine the incidence of significant histologic and concurrent cytologic findings.

Methods: Consecutive cervical polyps from January 2000 through September 2012 were retrieved from the hospital laboratory information system. Histologic evaluation of these polyps was performed, followed by a chart review of clinical findings and correlation with the immediately prior or concurrently collected cervical Papanicolaou (Pap) test results, when available.

Results: A total of 369 cervical polyps were identified and reviewed. The patient ages ranged from 18 to 87 years (mean 46.5years). Eight polyps demonstrated squamous dysplasia (6 Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia/CIN I, and 2 CIN II/III), while 6 had malignant or atypical/potentially malignant features (2 adenosarcoma, 2 atypical polyps concerning for Mullerian adenosarcoma, 1 endometrioid endometrial adenocarcinoma and 1 adenocarcinoma in-situ). An increased incidence of atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS) and atypical glandular cells not otherwise specified (AGC NOS) Pap diagnoses (12.7% and 6.1%, respectively) was found in women with benign polyps on biopsy.

Discussion: We demonstrated a higher rate of clinically significant histologic findings in cervical polyps (14 of 369 cases, 3.7%) compared to previously reported studies. The increase in ASCUS and AGC Pap results was most likely related to reactive and inflammatory changes present in benign polyps. Our results suggest that removal of all cervical polyps with subsequent histologic review is warranted.

Keywords: Cervical dysplasia; Cervical malignancy; Cervical polyps; Mullerian adenosarcoma.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Adenosarcoma / pathology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cervix Uteri / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Polyps / pathology*
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / pathology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Young Adult