Educational Needs and Causes of False Diagnosis of Atypical Squamous Cells of Unknown Significance at a University Hospital
Keywords: ASCUS, Cervical smear, Pap test, False diagnosis, Atrophy, Candida
AbstractThe entity of atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS) in The Bethesda System 2001 for reporting cervical cytology is characterized by equivocal diagnosis, poor reproducibility and debatable management. This retrospective study was done to analyse the causes of false ASCUS if any and identify the educational needs as part of quality assurance programme. Cervical smears of all ASCUS cases reported over the one-year period were reviewed by the Cytopathologist. Relevant clinical data was retrieved. ASCUS was the most common type of abnormality representing 43.0 % cases among 294 abnormal smears reported during study period. 16.0% cases were found to be non ASCUS on review. The main four causes of over use of ASCUS diagnosis were poor quality smears and cellular atypia associated with Candida infection, atrophy and squamous metaplasia. Educational measures are being undertaken to avoid over diagnosis and improve the patient management (Afr J Reprod Health 2011; 15: 111-114).
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