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Cancer. 2002 Feb 25;96(1):5-13.

Adenocarcinoma of the cervix.

Author information

  • 1Western Diagnostic Pathology, Myaree, Australia. meike.schoolland@maynegroup.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The current study examines 1) the sensitivity of detection of invasive adenocarcinoma of the cervix in a routine cervical screening service, and 2) the frequency in smears of cytologic criteria previously found to be useful in diagnosis.

METHODS:

Data on women with diagnoses of adenocarcinoma of the cervix accessioned at the Western Australian Cervical Cytology Registry during the period 1993-1998 were examined, where smears had been reported by Western Diagnostic Pathology within three years of the biopsy diagnosis. Smears and biopsy material were reviewed.

RESULTS:

Thirty-six smears from 24 women were reviewed. Of those, 58.3% had been reported as a possible or definite high grade epithelial abnormality (HGEA). On review it was thought that this could be improved to 77.8%. The screening or diagnostic error was thus 19.4% and the sampling error 22.2%. The likelihood of an individual woman receiving a report of a possible or definite HGEA in the three years before biopsy was 83.3%. In retrospect this could have been improved to 91.7%. Heavy bloodstaining with abundant abnormal glandular epithelium (14 smears) and small three-dimensional or papillary clusters (16 smears) were the most frequent clues to invasion. Tumor necrosis/diathesis was present in eight smears, but easily seen in only four, while marked nuclear pleomorphism and macronucleoli were seen in three and one smears respectively. In cases with a discrepancy between the initial and the review findings, very small amounts of abnormal material (three smears), a resemblance to endometrial cells (one smear), and an unusual appearance of folded monolayered sheets (three smears) contributed to the difficulty of diagnosis.

CONCLUSIONS:

There were significant sampling and screening/diagnostic errors (22.2% and 19.4%, respectively). Screening and diagnostic errors could perhaps be reduced by a greater awareness of the range of cytologic changes, but these may be subtle. Heavy bloodstaining with abundant abnormal glandular material may be a useful clue to invasive, rather than in situ, adenocarcinoma, even in the absence of tumor diathesis or fully malignant nuclear criteria.

PMID:
11836697
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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