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Accuracy of cervical smears in predicting the grades of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia
  1. A. I. Al-Nafussi,
  2. M. K. Colquhoun and
  3. A. R.W. Williams
  1. Department of Pathology, University of Edinburgh, Teviot Place, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Address for correspondence: A.I. Al-Nafussi, Department of Pathology, University of Edinburgh, Teviot Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9AG, UK.


This is a retrospective study carried out to assess the correlation between the cytology and histology of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia in 1325 women. A poor correlation between the cytologic and histologic diagnosis of the various grades of CIN was shown. Forty-one percent of smears with repeated borderline change and 50% of those predicting CIN1 showed a higher grade of CIN on histology. The overall apparent false negative rate of cervical smears for high grade CIN (CIN2 and CIN3) was 19% and for CIN3 alone was only 3%. It is therefore concluded that there is a consistent tendency for cervical cytology to underestimate the severity of histologic lesions and it is therefore important that the clinicians ensure adequate follow-up of patients whose smears show a lesser degree of abnormality.

  • cervix
  • CIN
  • cytology
  • histology.

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