Changing pattern of epithelial cell abnormalities using revised Bethesda system

Document Type: Original Article


Departments of Anatomic Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, King Abdulaziz University Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


Objective(s): In developing countries and worldwide cervical cancer is an important cause of   female mortality. Reports describing the frequency and pattern of abnormal Pap smears in Saudi Arabia, using the revised Bethesda system (RBS) are very few. The current study was conducted to explore the changing pattern of epithelial cell abnormalities (ECA) detected in Pap smears (PS) in females of the Western region of Saudi Arabia at King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah using the RBS.
Materials and Methods:A retrospective study was designed to review all the PSs from the archives of Cytopathology Department at King Abdulaziz University Hospital, starting from January 2000 to October 2012 using RBS. Cytological aspects of PSs were reviewed with age distribution.
Results: Of the 15805 PS, 84 (0.53%) unsatisfactory smears were excluded. There were 2295 cases (14.52%) with ECA. In the abnormal squamous cell category the distribution of lesions was as follows: Atypical squamous cells of indeterminate significance (ASC-US) were 7.1%; atypical squamous cells, cannot exclude high squamous intraepithelial lesion (ASC-H) were 1.08%; low grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL) including human papillomavirus was 2.2%, high grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL) was 0.8% and high grade squamous
intraepithelial lesion with suspicious invasion was 0.06% smears. The mean age (MA) incidence was 39,43,45,46 and 45 years respectively.
Conclusion: The percentage of abnormal PS is increasing (14.52%) over the last decade. This increase is evident by different studies conducted across Saudi Arabia. Under present circumstances the need for mass screening.


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