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Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2011 Apr;155(2):213-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ejogrb.2010.12.009. Epub 2011 Jan 12.

Atypical glandular cells diagnosed during pregnancy and the postpartum period: a retrospective analysis.

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Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.



The objective of the study was to determine the prevalence and clinical significance of atypical glandular cells (AGC) or atypical glandular cells of undetermined significance (AGUS) diagnosed in pregnant and postpartum women.


Smears having a diagnosis of AGC or AGUS, taken from pregnant and postpartum (within six weeks after delivery) women between 1995 and 2008 were reviewed and subclassified according to the Bethesda 2001 classification. Case records were then reviewed and a second cytology review was performed after disclosure of the follow-up data.


Among 91,133 smears taken from pregnant and postpartum women, 70 had AGC or AGUS (0.07%) diagnosed. Follow-up data were available in 40 cases, with mean duration of follow-up being 43 months. Among the 40 patients with follow-up data, nineteen had smears with coexisting squamous abnormalities. Thirty patients had positive pathology, including 18 (45%) cervical intraepithelial neoplasia III (CIN III), four (10%) cervical adenocarcinoma-in situ, three (7.5%) squamous cell carcinoma of cervix, four (10%) condylomas and one (2.5%) hydatidiform mole. On review, 24 out of 32 smears with AGC 'not otherwise specified' ('NOS') had significant pathology.


AGC found on cervical smears during pregnancy and the postpartum period is uncommon. The chance of having significant cervical pathology, however, is high and colposcopy should be performed.

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