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Cytojournal. 2010 Aug 5;7:16. doi: 10.4103/1742-6413.67112.

Colposcopic evaluation of cervix with persistent inflammatory Pap smear: A prospective analytical study.

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Department of OBGY, JIPMER, Puducherry, India.



Inflammatory Pap smear is the most common report received by a gynecologist. The cervical screening algorithm for benign cellular changes on the Pap smear recommends treatment of infection if indicated and a repeat Pap smear in 4 to 6 months time. If the inflammatory changes still persist, subject the patient to colposcopy. However, in practice, this is not followed, especially in developing countries like ours where proper screening protocols are not available. Hence, a good number of patients in the premalignant stage are being missed. This study was undertaken to evaluate patients with persistent inflammatory Pap smears without atypia using colposcopy.


A prospective analytical study of 150 gynecologial patients with persistent inflammatory Pap smear between 2006 and 2008 in an out-patient setting. All of them were subjected to colposcopy and biopsy from the abnormal areas. The incidence of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN)/invasive carcinoma was calculated by proportions/percentages.


The incidence of invasive carcinoma was <1%. But, the incidence of pre-malignant lesions (CIN) was high (20.9%). CIN 2/3 and carcinoma in situ were present in 6.9% of the cases.


Patients with persistent inflammatory Pap smears can harbour a high proportion of CIN and hence these patients will need further evaluation.


Invasive carcinoma; non-specific inflammation; persistent inflammatory cellular changes; squamous intraepithelial lesion

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