Glandular lesions of the cervix on thin-layer Pap tests: Validity of cytologic criteria used in identifying significant lesions

Ferda Ozkan, Ibrahim Ramzy, Dina R. Mody

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To determine the cytologic features that are most helpful in characterizing significant glandular lesions of the cervix observed on the ThinPrep (TP) Pap test (Cytyc Corp., Boxborough, Massachusetts, U.S.A.) and to compare these features with those published for conventional smears. STUDY DESIGN: Thirty-nine TP preparations with cytologic evidence of glandular lesions of the cervix and histologic and/or clinical correlation were studied. These lesions included (1) 11 cases of benign/reactive conditions; (2) 10 cases of adenocarcinoma in situ (AIS), of which 1 had both AIS and carcinoma in situ; (3) 1 case of invasive adenocarcinoma; (4) 15 cases of squamous intraepithelial lesions and squamous cell carcinoma, including 4 with glandular involvement, and (5) 2 cases of adenosquamous cell carcinoma. These cases were reviewed by the first author without knowledge of the histologic diagnosis. Twenty-five previously published cytologic criteria were used to evaluate glanaular cells on TP slides. Statistical analysis was performed using Fisher's exact test to determine the significance of the features studied. RESULTS: All glandular lesions had cytologic features on TP similar to those previously described on conventional smears. However, TP slides demonstrated enhanced nuclear features but less-preserved architectural patterns. Reactive lesions showed minimal overlapping without hyperchromasia or mitotic figures and with normal nuclear/cytoplasmic ratios. AIS and invasive adenocarcinoma cases had similar features. Increased cellularity and overcrowding were prominent, whereas feathering, rosettes and cell strips were present but subtle. CONCLUSION: Glandular lesions of the cervix on TP slides shared many of the characteristic features reported for conventional smears. However, nuclear details were more pronounced in TP slides, while architectural patterns, although present, were relatively subtle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)372-379
Number of pages8
JournalActa Cytologica
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004


  • Cervical cancer
  • Cervix neoplasms
  • Thin-layer cytology
  • ThinPrep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Cell Biology
  • Histology


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