Editorials

Atypical glandular cells on cervical cytology

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i723 (Published 11 February 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i723
  1. Marie-Hélène Mayrand, associate professor1 2,
  2. Anita Koushik, associate professor2
  1. 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Université de Montréal and CRCHUM, CRCHUM - Tour Saint-Antoine, 850, rue St-Denis, Montreal (Québec) H2X 0A9, Canada
  2. 2Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Université de Montréal and CRCHUM
  1. Correspondence to: M-H Mayrand marie-helene.mayrand{at}umontreal.ca

Need careful diagnostic evaluation

“How worried should I be?” is what women often ask when told that their screening cervical cytology result is abnormal. Unfortunately, when the result indicates atypical glandular cells (AGC), it is difficult to answer this question with certainty. The study by Wang and colleagues,1 assessing the short and long term risk of cervical cancer after detection of AGC from cervical smear tests in Sweden, provides useful information. The team examined the risk of cervical cancer up to 15 years after a first finding of AGC in a cohort of over three million women. The large sample makes it possible to provide precise estimates of risk following this rare diagnostic category. Glandular pathologies are difficult to diagnose and may be under-ascertained in the short term, making studies with longitudinal assessment and minimal losses to follow-up essential. The fact …

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