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Clinical utility of liquid-based cytology for the characterization and management of endometrial polyps in postmenopausal age
  1. M. Fambrini*,
  2. A. M. Buccoliero,
  3. G. Bargelli*,
  4. R. Cioni*,
  5. L. Piciocchi*,
  6. A. Pieralli*,
  7. K. L. Andersson*,
  8. G. Scarselli*,
  9. G. Taddei and
  10. M. Marchionni*
  1. * Departments of Gynecology, Perinatology, and Human Reproduction and
  2. Human Pathology and Oncology, University of Florence, School of Medicine, Florence, Italy
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Massimiliano Fambrini, MD, Dipartimento di Ginecologia, Perinatologia e Riproduzione Umana Policlinico di Careggi, Via Morgagni 85, Firenze 50134, Italy. Email: maxfambrini{at}


The proper management of endometrial polyps still represents a clinical ongoing challenge, especially when they are asymptomatic and occasionally discovered. The aim of this study was to evaluate liquid-based endometrial cytology to manage endometrial polyps in postmenopausal age by its ability to exclude hidden premalignant and malignant changes within polyps. Three hundred fifty-nine consecutive postmenopausal patients who underwent hysteroscopic diagnosis of endometrial polyp over a 3-year period and who were scheduled for surgical removal within the three subsequent months were retrospectively evaluated. Histologic results after resection during operative hysteroscopy or during hysterectomy were compared with liquid-based cytology and endometrial biopsy obtained at the time of diagnostic hysteroscopy. Eight of 359 patients (2.2%) had malignant or premalignant polyps interpreted as benign finding at hysteroscopy. Unsatisfactory samples were higher for endometrial biopsy compared to liquid-based cytology in the whole series and in the subgroup of low-risk asymptomatic patients (P< 0.001). Endometrial biopsy and liquid-based cytology revealed a sensitivity of 62% and 87.5%, respectively and a 100% specificity. Considering the subgroup of low-risk asymptomatic patients, liquid-based cytology disclosed all the five pathologic lesions with a 100% sensitivity and specificity. In conclusion, liquid-based cytology proved to be a useful tool to establish the nature of endometrial polyps in postmenopausal patients. Complete removal of the lesion should be offered to all symptomatic patients and those with established risk factors for endometrial cancer. Conversely, a wait and see attitude should be considered in case of asymptomatic low-risk polyps with typical appearance on hysteroscopy and negative liquid-based cytology.

  • endometrial cancer
  • endometrial cytology
  • endometrial polyp
  • liquid-based

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