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Curr Infect Dis Rep. 2014 Jul;16(7):409. doi: 10.1007/s11908-014-0409-x.

Cervicitis of unknown etiology.

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Section of Infectious Diseases, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, 517 N. Rampart St., New Orleans, LA, 70112, USA,


Cervicitis has been described by some as the female counterpart of urethritis in men. Over the years a number of clinical and microscopy-based definitions have been suggested in the literature. Clinical manifestations include mucopurulent discharge from the cervix, cervical friability (easy bleeding from the cervix with passage of a swab) and cervical ectopy. Microscopic definitions involving the use of Gram stain of cervical secretions have included either more than 10 white blood cells (WBCs) or more than 30 WBCs per high-power field. Combinations of these clinical and microscopic findings have been used in attempts to increase the accuracy of cervicitis diagnosis. When cervicitis was initially recognized as a clinical entity, several investigators reported the primary pathogens causing cervicitis as Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis. It is now well established that most cases of cervicitis are not caused by these two organisms. Most cases of cervicitis are of unknown etiology.


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