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Acta Cytol. 2008 Sep-Oct;52(5):563-7.

Clinical significance of atypical glandular cells by the 2001 Bethesda System in cytohistologic correlation.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pathology, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan. crlai@vghtpe.gov.tw

Erratum in

  • Acta Cytol. 2009 Jan-Feb;53(1):121.



To evaluate incidence, cytology findings and pathology outcome of atypical glandular cells (AGC) in Pap smears according to the 2001 Bethesda criteria.


From 103,073 consecutive Pap smears, 113 (0.1%) AGC cases were identified. Of these, 91 (80%) had adequate histologic evaluation included in this study.


Abnormal histology findings were seen in 38 patients (42%). Final pathology results revealed 14 endometrial adenocarcinomas, 5 endocervical adenocarcinomas, 1 cervical squamous cell carcinoma, 1 endometrial stromal sarcoma, 6 other malignancies, 4 endocervical adenocarcinomas in situ, 4 cases ofendometrial complex byperplasia, 1 case of endocervical glandular dysplasia and 2 cases of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 3 with glandular involvement. Women with AGC, favor neoplasia, were more likely to have significant pathology than those with AGC, not otherwise specified, 74% vs. 33% (p = 0.002). Some characteristic background cytologic findings were also noticed in most cases of endometrial, fallopian tube and endocervical adenocarcinoma.


A diagnosis of AGC is more clinically significant by the 2001 Bethesda System, especially the "AGC, favor neoplastic" category. Some background cytologic features are important because they are indicators of malignancy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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