Age cutoff for reporting of benign-appearing endometrial cells in Papanicolaou specimens; should it be raised? A 10-year retrospective study from a large county hospital

Stacy Hinson, Kyle Molberg, Mariam Mir, Melinda Flores, Wenxin Zheng, Elena Lucas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: The recommendation for reporting benign-appearing endometrial cells in Papanicolaou specimens was increased from 40 to 45 years in the 2014 edition of The Bethesda System. Recent studies suggest that increasing the reporting age to 50 years would have no significant negative impact. Reporting of benign endometrial cells may trigger unnecessary procedures and increase the cost of patient care. The goal of our study was to perform cytohistologic correlations and determine an optimal age cutoff for reporting endometrial cells in cervical cytology specimens. Materials and methods: The pathology database was searched between 2006 and 2015 for Papanicolaou tests with benign-appearing endometrial cells that were followed by endometrial sampling within 1 year of the cytology result in women ≥45 years. In cases where more than one follow-up surgical specimen was available, only the most significant result was included. Endometrial carcinoma or atypical hyperplasia was considered a significant histologic result. The data were organized into 4 age groups, 45 to 49, 50 to 54, 55 to 59, and ≥60 years. Results: Among 453,420 Papanicolaou specimens, 1121 cases reported endometrial cells in women ≥45 years. Of these, 588 (52%) had an endometrial biopsy/curettage or hysterectomy. Benign diagnosis was reported for 558 (95%) and 12 (2%) samples were insufficient for diagnosis. Significant histologic findings were present in 18 (3%) of cases, of which all were endometrial carcinoma. The difference was statistically significant between the age groups 45 to 54 and ≥55 (1.5% versus 17% of cases had significant endometrial pathology, P < 0.05). Conclusions: Increasing the current reporting age appears safe and may improve efficiency and cost savings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-83
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Society of Cytopathology
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

Keywords

  • Cervical cytology
  • Endometrial carcinoma
  • Endometrial cells
  • Papanicolaou test
  • The Bethesda System for reporting cervical cytology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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