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Diagn Cytopathol. 1997 Jul;17(1):1-7.

Cytologic features of neoplastic lesions in endocervical glands.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.


Cytologic criteria for classifying atypical endocervical cells on Pap smears are poorly defined. In this study we evaluated cytologic parameters that are useful in predicting the presence of neoplastic lesions (NL) and those that help distinguish squamous intraepithelial lesion (SIL) from glandular neoplastic lesions. The recently proposed Bethesda System (TBS) terminology for reporting atypical glandular cells of undetermined significance (AGUS) was also evaluated for its significance on patient management. Sixteen cases of biopsy-proven endocervical glandular NL that had cytologic smears available for review were included. Thirty-five smears with atypical endocervical cells and follow-up biopsies showing benign/reactive change (n = 22) and SIL involving glands (n = 13) were reviewed for comparison. Our results show that squamous NL often coexist with glandular NL. The presence of rosettes, hyperchromasia and increased N/C ratio is useful in distinguishing NL from benign/reactive conditions. Architectural features are helpful in distinguishing SIL from glandular NL. While a haphazard arrangement is more often seen with SIL, glandular NL are more likely to maintain polarity and to show glandular rosettes. Using TBS criteria, a conservative management seems justified in patients with AGUS-favor reactive and AGUS diagnosis on Pap smear, and colposcopy is indicated for patients with AGUS-favor NL.

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