Benefits of Cervical Cancer Screening by Liquid-Based Cytology as Part of Routine Antenatal Assessment


Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand


Purpose: To determine the prevalence of abnormal cervical cytology, as diagnosed using a liquid-based cytology technique, in pregnant women attending the Antenatal Care (ANC) clinic at Siriraj Hospital. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study included 655 first-visit pregnant women who attended ANC clinic at Siriraj Hospital during June to November 2015 study period. After receiving routine antenatal care, cervical cytology screening was performed with the Siriraj liquid-based cytology technique. All specimens were reviewed by a certi ed cytopathologist using Bethesda System 2001 criteria. Patients with abnormal PAP results characterized as epithelial cell abnormalities were referred to a gynecologic oncologist for further management according to ASCCP Guidelines 2012. Results: Mean age of participants was 28.9±6.2 years. Prevalence of abnormal cervical cytology was 3.4% (95% CI: 2.0-4.7). Among this group, there were ASC-US, ASC-H, LSIL, HSIL for 12(1.8%), 2(0.3%), 7(1.1%) and 1(0.2%), respectively. In 633 specimens of the normal group, infection was identified in 158 specimens (24.1%) which were caused by Candida spp. and Trichomonas vaginalis. Regarding patient perception about the importance of cervical cancer screening, although most women perceived screening to be important, 54% of participants had never been screened for cervical cancer. Rate of loss to follow-up in the postpartum period was as high as 41.8%. Conclusions: Prevalence of abnormal cervical cytology in pregnant women attending the ANC clinic at Siriraj Hospital was 3.4%. Inclusion of cervical cancer screening as part of antenatal assessment can help to identify precancerous lesions or cervical cancers in patients who might otherwise not be screened, thereby facilitating early treatment and improved patient outcomes.