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Cervicography Combined With Repeat Papanicolaou Test as Triage for Low-Grade Cytologic Abnormalities

Obstetrics & Gynecology: September 1998
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Objective To determine the efficacy of combined repeat Papanicolaou test and cervicography for identification of high-grade squamous lesions among patients who previously have had atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS) or low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL) diagnosed by the Bethesda System.

Methods All patients who presented to a charity hospital gynecology clinic between July 1, 1994, and December 31, 1995, with a Papanicolaou test result of ASCUS or LSIL underwent repeat Papanicolaou test, cervicography, colposcopy with colposcopic-directed biopsy when appropriate, and an endocervical curettage. Pregnant patients and those who had undergone hysterectomy were excluded. The mean and median time from abnormal Papanicolaou test to clinical investigation was 61 and 58 days, respectively (range 6-162 days).

Results One hundred eighty-seven of the patients had an initial ASCUS Papanicolaou test. Of these 187, 24 (13%) were found to have cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) grades II-III. The second Papanicolaou test would have resulted in the detection of 11 of 24 lesions (sensitivity 46%), whereas the cervigram would have detected 22 of 24 (sensitivity 92%). The combined Papanicolaou test and cervigram sensitivity for ASCUS was 91%. One hundred forty-one of the patients had an initial LSIL Papanicolaou test. Of these 141, 37 (26%) patients were found to have CIN II-III. The repeat Papanicolaou test would have detected 29 of 37 lesions (sensitivity 78%), whereas the cervigram would have detected 33 of 37 (sensitivity 89%). The combined Papanicolaou test and cervigram sensitivity for LSIL was 97%.

Conclusion Cervicography is a helpful adjunctive technique for detection of CIN II-III lesions in patients with previous ASCUS or LSIL Papanicolaou tests.

Address reprint requests to: Wallace P. Begneaud, MD, Chabert Medical Center, 1978 Industrial Boulevard, Houma, LA 70363

© 1998 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists