Background: Cervical cancer and its precursors still remain an important cause of morbidity and mortality despite adequate screening programs. It is now established practice in Australia that a Pap smear without an endocervical component, which is otherwise negative, does not warrant an earlier repeat smear. This study aims to determine if the lack of an endocervical component in women with previously treated high-grade abnormalities of the cervix increases the risk of subsequent cytological abnormalities.
Method: Data were retrieved from an electronic database in the Oncology and Dysplasia Unit at The Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. Women who underwent treatment for high-grade cervical abnormalities from 2000–2004 were included in the study. Women with negative cytology immediately after their operations were first identified, and the incidence of subsequent cytological abnormalities was calculated and then separated according to their endocervical status.
Results: Of the 1260 women in the study population, seven developed high-grade abnormalities (six with an endocervical component and one without) and 107 developed low-grade abnormalities (98 with an endocervical component and nine without).
Conclusion: The lack of an endocervical component was not statistically significantly associated with a higher incidence of either high-grade or low-grade abnormalities. Therefore, women who have had previous treatments for high-grade abnormalities do not need to have earlier repeat smears or intervention if the cytology lacks an endocervical component.