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Acta Cytol. 2001 Jul-Aug;45(4):555-60.

Pap smears in women with endometrial carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York, USA.



To correlate Pap smear findings with the histology of endometrial carcinoma and stage of the disease.


Between 1995 and 1998, 76 women with endometrial carcinoma, having had Pap smears done within two to three months of hysterectomy at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, formed the basis for this study. All Pap smears and histologic sections were reviewed.


Thirty-four patients had normal Pap smears (45%), and 42 had abnormal ones (55%). The mean age of the two groups was 65.1 and 65.2 years, respectively. Histologic subtypes included 44 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) grade 1 endometrioid adenocarcinoma (low grade) and 32 high grade carcinomas, including 19 FIGO grade 2 or 3 endometrioid adenocarcinomas, 5 papillary serous carcinomas (PSC), 2 clear cell carcinomas (CC), 1 adenosquamous carcinoma, 3 endometrioid adenocarcinomas mixed with PSC and 2 endometrioid adenocarcinomas mixed with CC. The proportions of patients with low and high grade tumors with abnormal Pap smears were 43% (19/44) and 72% (23/32), respectively (P=.01). The proportions of patients with abnormal Pap smears and no myometrial invasion, invasion of <50% and >50% myometrial thickness were 40% (8/20), 62% (26/42) and 57% (8/14), respectively (P =.27). Vascular invasion was identified in 56% (9/16) of patients with abnormal Pap smears and in 55% (33/60) of patients with normal ones (P = .93). The proportions of patients having abnormal Pap smears with stage I and stages II, III or IV disease were 48% (30/62) and 86% (12/14), respectively (P =.01).


Although the Pap smear is not a sensitive screening test for endometrial cancer and a negative Pap smear does not rule it out, this study revealed that abnormal Pap smears are significantly associated with high grade of tumor and stage II-IV endometrial carcinoma. However, they are not associated with patient age, depth of myometrial invasion or vascular invasion.

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