Anal cytology is a modality for anal cancer screening in high-risk women. In this retrospective study, we review risk factors associated with abnormal anal cytology and unsatisfactory anal cytology rates, and correlate findings of cytology with histological results.
A retrospective cohort study of anal cytology screening in women at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota from 2002 to 2018 was conducted.
Three hundred fifty-seven women had a total of 592 anal cytologies performed. Three hundred seventeen women had screening anal cytology, whereas 40 women had anal cytology for surveillance given a history of anal intraepithelial neoplasia (AIN) or anal cancer. An unsatisfactory anal cytology result was found in 14.7%. Risk factors, type of follow-up, and correlation with histologic specimens were also reviewed. Histologic finding of AIN 2/3 correlated with abnormal anal cytology 84% of the time in this cohort.
High-risk women should be screened on a periodic basis for anal cancer. Anal cytology is one possible modality that can be used. Further insight into AIN progression, regression, recurrence, and outcome after treatment will help direct future screening recommendations.