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Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2006 Jan-Feb;16(1):257-61.

A cytohistologic study of atypical glandular cells detected in cervical smears during cervical screening tests in Iran.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Mirza Koochak Khan Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Nejatollahi Street, Karim Khan Zand Avenue, Tehran, Iran 1597856511.


Atypical glandular cells (AGC) often cause diagnostic uncertainty in cervicovaginal smears. To determine the incidence of significant pathologies associated with AGC on Papanicolaou test, AGC smears were correlated with subsequent biopsy diagnoses. A retrospective review of archives of our cytology files for cervicovaginal smears diagnosed as AGC from April 1998 to March 2001 was performed. In 9390 cervicovaginal smears, AGC were reported in 76 (0.81%) cases, with histologic follow-up in 42 patients (55.3%). Twenty-two patients (52.4%) had preneoplastic or neoplastic, squamous, or glandular lesions on histologic examination. Among them were cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, basal cell abnormality of undetermined significance, cervical adenocarcinoma, endometrial hyperplasia or adenocarcinoma, vaginal adenocarcinoma, endocervical glandular dysplasia, metastatic breast carcinoma, and simple nonvillous trophoblastic tissue. Therefore, presence of AGC in cervical smears may exhibit a spectrum of findings, ranging from benign/reactive changes to squamous or glandular premalignancy or malignancy. A majority of these lesions are squamous dysplasia, and a significant number of patients had glandular malignancy. The results of the current study underline the importance of follow-up for patients with the diagnosis of AGC. To our knowledge, this is the first report in Iran showing the significance of AGC diagnosis.

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