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Cytopathology. 2009 Dec;20(6):380-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2303.2008.00621.x. Epub 2009 Jan 21.

Endometrial carcinoma detected with SurePath liquid-based cervical cytology: comparison with conventional cytology.

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  • 1Department of Cellular Pathology, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP, UK.



Conventional Pap smears (CPS) have little impact on the detection of endometrial carcinoma. Although liquid-based cytology (LBC) is replacing CPS in the UK, experience with identification of endometrial cancers with this technique is limited.


To compare the accuracy of the SurePath LBC with that of CPS for detection of endometrial cancers.


Our study group comprised SurePath LBC samples reported as atypical endometrial cells and endometrial adenocarcinoma (classified respectively as borderline, code 8 and ?glandular neoplasia, code 6 for the NHS Cervical Screening Programme statistics) in 2004-2005. CPS reported as atypical endometrial cells or adenocarcinoma in 1993-1998 comprised the control group. Histological follow-up was obtained.


Endometrial abnormalities were reported in 95 (0.073%) of 130 352 LBC samples, comprising 75 (0.058%) atypical endometrial cells and 20 (0.015%) endometrial adenocarcinoma reports. Of 409 495 CPS, 117 (0.029%) were diagnosed as endometrial abnormalities, comprising 59 (0.014%) atypical endometrial cells and 58 (0.014%) endometrial adenocarcinoma reports. Thus, the endometrial adenocarcinoma reporting rate was similar in both groups, but that for atypical endometrial cells was higher with LBC (P < 0.001). The positive predictive value for endometrial cancer of endometrial adenocarcinoma and atypical endometrial cell reports in the LBC group was 73.3 and 18.8%, respectively, compared with 42.3 and 6.7% in the CPS group. The endometrial adenocarcinoma patients in CPS group were older (mean age 62.5 years versus 56.5 years) and most (22/25) were symptomatic, whereas most (13/17) patients in the LBC group were asymptomatic at the time of sampling (P < 0.001).


SurePath LBC is at least as accurate a method for detecting endometrial cancer as CPS. SurePath LBC demonstrates enhanced identification of endometrial pathology in asymptomatic women in the cervical screening programme.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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