Clinical implications of atypical glandular cells of undetermined significance, favor endometrial origin

Cancer (Impact Factor: 5.2). 12/2001; 93(6):351 - 356. DOI: 10.1002/cncr.10139

The Bethesda System recommends qualifying atypical glandular cells with regard to their possible origin: endocervical versus endometrial. This study was undertaken to determine the clinical significance of atypical glandular cells of undetermined significance that favor an endometrial origin (AGUS-EM).METHODSA computer search identified 62 cervicovaginal smears (5.25% of all smears classified as AGUS) with a diagnosis of AGUS-EM in the files of Shared Cytopathology Laboratory of New York University Medical Center/Bellevue Hospital Medical Center between January 1995 and December 1999. The patients ranged in age from 29 years to 88 years (mean age, 53 years). Thirty-four patients were postmenopausal (55%), and 5 patients were on hormonal replacement therapy. Follow-up was available for 56 patients (90%); 45 patients (73%) underwent biopsy, and 11 patients (17%) had repeat cervicovaginal smears. Six patients were lost to follow-up.RESULTSAmong patients who underwent biopsy, 14 patients (31%) had a clinically significant uterine lesions, including 6 (13%) endometrial adenocarcinomas, 5 (11%) endometrial hyperplasias, and 3 (7%) squamous lesions (2 high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions and 1 squamous cell carcinoma). Ten of 11 patients with significant endometrial pathology findings were postmenopausal. The remaining 31 patients had benign pathology results, which included chronic cervicitis, endometritis, endometrial polyps, microglandular hyperplasia, and tubal metaplasia. Among the patients with repeat cervicovaginal smears, one patient had atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance; the remaining patients were within normal limits.CONCLUSIONS
Approximately one-third of women with a diagnosis of AGUS-EM had a significant uterine lesion on subsequent biopsy; the majority of these lesions were endometrial in origin. Patients with a diagnosis of AGUS-EM on cervicovaginal smears should be followed closely, and endometrial curettage or biopsy should be included in their initial work-up. Cancer (Cancer Cytopathol) 2001;93:351–6. © 2001 American Cancer Society.

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