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Implications regarding atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance among women residing in a US–Mexico border city
  1. H. Greenberg*,
  2. M. Duarte-Gardea and
  3. O. R. Quezada*
  1. * Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, El Paso, Texas
  2. Department of Health Promotion, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Maria Duarte-Gardea, PhD, RD, Department of Health Promotion, College of Health Sciences, University of Texas at El Paso, 1101 N. Campbell Street, El Paso, TX 79902, USA. Email: moduarte{at}


We conducted a study of Mexican American women living in a US–Mexico border city who attended a gynecology clinic for Papanicolaou (Pap) smear. The objective of this study was to describe the cytologic outcomes of women who had atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS) diagnosis after a Pap smear and to observe any changes during follow-up colposcopy. A total of 852 abnormal Pap smear were identified through a computer search for a 6-month period. Histology data were available for 317 cases. Benign findings were observed in 45.4% of cervical biopsies. A clinically significant diagnosis was reported in the remaining tissue sample. The diagnosis report was either single or combined and recorded as follows: human papilloma virus 46.3%, cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 1, 23.6%; CIN 2, 5.6%; and CIN 3, 1.5%. There was one case of invasive cervical cancer. Overall, the incidence rate of ASCUS was 5%. However, we found that a significant proportion of this population had CIN 1 through CIN 3. Furthermore, this population has traditionally been noncompliant and routinely failed to attend follow-up appointments. Based on these results, the clinician should not ignore an initial abnormal Pap smear. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to perform colposcopy in Mexican American patients with a first time diagnosis of ASCUS on routine Pap smear.

  • pap smear
  • hispanic

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