Liquid-based papanicolaou test (SurePath) interpretations before histologic diagnosis of endometrial hyperplasias and carcinomas: Study of 272 cases classified by the 2001 Bethesda system

Michael J. Thrall, Klint Kjeldahl, H. Evin Gulbahce, Stefan E. Pambuccian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND. In addition to the reporting of atypical glandular cells (AGC) and adenocarcinoma (ADCA), the 2001 Bethesda System requires the reporting of benign-appearing endometrial cells in women aged >40 years (BAEMC). In this study, the authors evaluated the contribution of each of these reporting categories to the sensitivity and specificity of a liquid-based Papanicolaou test for endometrial carcinoma or hyperplasia. METHODS. Over the 3-year study period, in the setting of a large, multihospital health care system, the authors analyzed the results from liquid-based Papanicolaou tests that were performed within the 6 months that preceded a histologic diagnosis of endometrial carcinoma or hyperplasia and that were reported according to the 2001 Bethesda System. RESULTS. Two hundred seventy-two women had a histologic diagnosis of endometrial hyperplasia (n = 199) or malignancy (n = 73) within 6 months after a Papanicolaou test. In total, 188,594 Papanicolaou tests (91,385 from women aged >40 years) were interpreted during the study period and resulted in 3810 diagnoses of BAEMC, 326 diagnoses of AGC, and 30 diagnoses of ADCA. Only 28 of 73 women (38.4%) with endometrial carcinoma had cytologically AGC or ADCA reported on a previous Papanicolaou test. The reporting of BAEMC increased this sensitivity by only 5.5% (4 additional tests) but decreased the specificity of the Papanicolaou test for endometrial malignancy from 99.8% to 96%. For endometrial hyperplasias, the sensitivity of the Papanicolaou test was even lower (39 of 198 tests; 19.7%), but BAEMC represented the majority of endometrial-type cells reported (36 of 39 tests). CONCLUSIONS. The reporting of BAEMC led to an only marginal increase in sensitivity that had to be weighed against the significant loss in specificity of the Papanicolaou test for endometrial neoplasia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-223
Number of pages7
JournalCancer
Volume111
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 25 2007

Keywords

  • Abnormal glandular cells
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Benign-appearing endometrial cells
  • Cervicovaginal cytology
  • Complex hyperplasia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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