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J Reprod Med. 2000 Apr;45(4):285-92.

Endocervical curettage in evaluating abnormal cervical cytology.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.



To determine the role of endocervical curettage (ECC) in the evaluation of women with abnormal cervical cytology and following treatment for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia.


A retrospective chart review using the records of 2,126 patients who were seen at the Colposcopy Clinic, Baylor College of Medicine, between 1980 and 1995. All patients were referred because of an abnormal cervical smear and underwent repeat Pap smear, colposcopic examination in each case with biopsies as indicated, endocervical curettage and treatment, consisting of either cryotherapy, laser vaporization or a LOOP electrosurgical excision procedure. Following treatment, Pap smears were performed on a scheduled basis, and ECC was performed annually.


The ECC was negative in 1,849 (87%) of the women. It was abnormal in 33% of women with unsatisfactory colposcopy and 10% of women with satisfactory colposcopy. ECC was abnormal in 21% of patients with a negative biopsy result and 42% of patients who did not have a biopsy performed. There was a significant increase in abnormal ECC results with increasing age. ECC had a high positive predictive value for ectocervical disease (86%) and a high negative predictive value for endocervical disease (90%). One year following treatment, < 4% of patients with a negative cervical smear had a high grade lesion detected on ECC.


The use of ECC is helpful in detecting disease missed by routine colposcopy and biopsy and is most likely to detect ectocervical disease rather than true endocervical disease. Following treatment, ECC does not appear to be significantly more reliable than the Pap smear in detecting the presence of significant residual disease.

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