OUP user menu

Clinical Significance of Cytologic Diagnosis of Atypical Squamous Cells, Cannot Exclude High Grade, in Perimenopausal and Postmenopausal Women

Reda S. Saad MD, PhD, David J. Dabbs MD, Lana Kordunsky MD, Amal Kanbour-Shakir MD, PhD, Jan F. Silverman MD, Yulin Liu MD, PhD, Anisa Kanbour MD
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1309/XVB01JQYQNM7MJXU 381-388 First published online: 1 September 2006


We used cytohistologic correlation to determine the clinical significance of atypical squamous cells, cannot exclude high grade (ASC-H), in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women. A computer search identified 250 Papanicolaou smears from women older than 45 years with a diagnosis of ASC-H. Cases were considered perimenopausal (45 to <55 years; 150 cases) and postmenopausal (≥55 years; 100 cases). No follow-up data were available for 33 cases, which were excluded. The remaining 217 cases (perimenopausal, 127; postmenopausal, 90) had surgical or cytologic follow-up. Results of follow-up colposcopic biopsy were available for 176 (81.1%) and cytology for 41 (18.9%) women. Follow-up results were as follows: perimenopausal women, negative, 50 (39.4%); mild dysplasia (low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion [LSIL]), 46 (36.2%); high-grade dysplasia (high-grade SIL [HSIL]); 28 (22.0%); and ASC of undetermined significance (ASC-US), 3 (2.4%); postmenopausal women, negative, 52 (58%); LSIL, 31 (34%); HSIL, 5 (6%); and ASC-US, 2 (2%). The diagnosis of ASC-H in postmenopausal women usually is associated with LSIL or a negative diagnosis on follow-up, suggesting a less aggressive surveillance and treatment regimen is needed for postmenopausal women with ASC-H.

Key Words:
  • Atypical squamous cells
  • cannot exclude high grade
  • ASC-H
  • Postmenopausal
  • Perimenopausal
  • Papanicolaou smears