Clinical significance of a cytologic diagnosis of atypical glandular cells, favor endometrial origin, in pap smears

Reda S. Saad, Hidehero Takei, Yulin L. Liu, Jan F. Silverman, Jane T. Lipscomb, Bernardo Ruiz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the significance of a diagnosis of atypical glandular cells, favor endometrial origin (AGC-EM), using cytohistologic correlation. Study Design: A retrospective search identified 90 cervicovaginal smears (vaginal pool) with a diagnosis of AGC-EM, in 2 tertiary care medical centers between January 1998 and December 2002. Results: Forty-six (51%) were conventional preparations and 44 (49%) were liquid-based monolayers (SurePath, TriPath Imaging Inc., Burlington, North Carolina, U.S.A.). Follow-up biopsies were available in 55 of 90 (61%) cases, 15 of 90 (17%) cases had cytology follow-up, and 20 of 90 (22%) were lost to follow-up. The patients ranged in age from 30 to 86years (mean, 56); 56 of 90 (62%) were > 50 years. Among the patients who underwent biopsy, 22 (40%) had a clinically significant lesion, including 10 (18%) endometrial adenocarcinomas, 8 (15%) endometrial hyperplasias and 4 (7%) high grade squamous intraepithelial lesion/squamous cell carcinoma, nonkeratinizing type. The remaining 33 patients had benign histology, including benign endometrium, endometrial polyp, tubal metaplasia, cystic endometrial atrophy and cervical microglandular hyperplasia. Of the patients with cytologic follow-up, 2 had Pap smears showing atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance, while the remainder had negative results. Conclusion: In our study population, 40% (22 of 55) of women who underwent biopsy following a diagnosis of AGC-EM had significant uterine lesions, with the majority of the lesions endometrial in origin. Patients with a diagnosis of AGC-EM, especially those > 50, should be followed closely, and endometrial sampling should be included in their initial workup.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-54
Number of pages7
JournalActa Cytologica
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006


  • Endometrial cancer
  • Papanicolaou smear
  • Postmenopause

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Cell Biology
  • Histology


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