Bacterial Vaginosis and Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia: Is there an Association or is Co-Existence Incidental?

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

Division of Cytopathology, National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research, Noida, India.

Abstract

 
Objectives: To determine associations, if any, of bacterial vaginosis with cervical pre-neoplastic lesions and evaluate any effects of sub-categorization of smears with bacterial vaginosis. Methods: All cervico-vaginal smears reported as positive for bacterial vaginosis over a five-year period were reviewed and sub-categorized into ‘type I (dysbacteriosis)’ and ‘type II (pure Gardenerella infection)’ smears by two cytopathologists (PS, SG). The proportion of smears with healthy flora and pre-neoplastic lesions was compared with those having bacterial vaginosis in conjunction with such changes. In addition, a comparison was also attempted between the frequencies of pre-neoplastic lesions with the two categories of bacterial vaginosis smears. Results: Bacterial vaginosis was diagnosed in 28.6% (7017 of the 24,565) of the 24,565 smears received in the Institute during the study period. Of these 7,017 smears with bacterial vaginosis, 53% (3717) were categorized as type I and 42.7% (3000) as type II by both cytopathologists. Pre-neoplastic lesions were detected in 10.2% of smears with bacterial vaginosis compared to 5.7% of those with healthy flora (P<0.0001). Of the sub-categories of bacterial vaginosis, the risk of detecting precancerous lesion was higher for type II smears (P<0.001). Conclusion: Sub-categorization of bacterial vaginosis, as performed in the Dutch coding system, may be worthwhile due to the strikingly different risk of associated preneoplasia.

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