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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2013 Feb;137(2):199-213. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2012-0250-OA.

Quality improvement opportunities in gynecologic cytologic-histologic correlations: findings from the College of American Pathologists Gynecologic Cytopathology Quality Consensus Conference working group 4.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Services, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda Maryland 20889-5601, USA.



Cytopathology experts, interested stakeholders, and representatives from the College of American Pathologists, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Society of Cytopathology, the Papanicolaou Society of Cytopathology, the American Society for Clinical Pathology, and the American Society of Cytotechnology convened the Gynecologic Cytopathology Quality Consensus Conference to present preliminary consensus statements developed by working groups, including the Cytologic-Histologic Correlations Working Group 4, using results from surveys and literature review. Conference participants voted on statements, suggested changes where consensus was not achieved, and voted on proposed changes.


To document existing practices in gynecologic cytologic-histologic correlation, to develop consensus statements on appropriate practices, to explore standardization, and to suggest improvement in these practices.


The material is based on survey results from 546 US laboratories, review of the literature from 1988 to 2011, and the College of American Pathologists Web site for consensus comments and additional survey questions.


Cytologic-histologic correlations can be performed retrospectively, during initial case review, or both. At minimum, all available slides should be reviewed for a high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion Papanicolaou test with negative biopsies. The preferred monitor for correlations is the positive predictive value of a Papanicolaou test. Laboratories should design cytologic-histologic correlation programs to explore existing or perceived quality deficiencies.

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