OBJECTIVE: To estimate the outcome of adolescents with atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASC-US) on cytology.
METHODS: A review of ASC-US cytology in girls and women aged 10–19 years between 1995 and 1999 was performed. The cytologic and histologic follow-up of each patient was evaluated. The outcome was recorded as the most significant (highest grade) subsequent cervical smear or biopsy.
RESULTS: Overall, 535 of 7,897 (6.8%) cervical cytologic specimens were reported as ASC-US. The study group consisted of 398 patients for whom pathologic follow-up was available. The mean duration of follow-up was 19 months. Follow-up consisted of repeat cytology in 251 (63%) patients and colposcopy with cervical biopsies and/or endocervical curettage in 147 (37%) of the adolescents. Two hundred fifty-three (64%) adolescents had no pathologic abnormalities on follow-up. Persistent ASC-US was identified in 65 (16%), low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions/cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 1 was found in 44 (11%) and high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions/CIN 2 or 3 occurred in 36 (9%) of the adolescents. No cases of invasive carcinoma were found.
CONCLUSIONS: Among adolescents with ASC-US, the rate of squamous intraepithelial lesions/CIN is similar to that of adults. Although the optimal management of ASC-US in adolescents is unknown, these patients warrant close follow-up.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: III