Public expectations, achievable cervical screening sensitivity, and the standard of practice


  • R. Marshall Austin M.D., Ph.D.

    Corresponding author
    1. Coastal Pathology Laboratories, Charleston, South Carolina
    • Coastal Pathology Laboratories, 1128 Lango Ave., Charleston, SC 29407
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    • Dr. Austin has served as an unpaid consultant for Autocyte, Cytyc, Digene, Morphomatrix, Neopath, NSI, and Veracel.

    • Fax: (843) 769-7614

  • See also Cancer (Cancer Cytopathol). 2002;96:210–7 [August 25, 2002].


The review of the sensitivity of the Papanicolaou (Pap) smear reminds researchers of the major ambiguities that remain in assessing the vital issues of overall Pap screening sensitivity, assessing comparative accuracy among individual laboratories, and assessing adherence to “the standard of practice.”