Prevalence of Abnormal Pap Smears: A Descriptive Study from a Cancer Center in a Low-Prevalence Community

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Pathology King Hussein Cancer Center, (KHCC) Amman, Jordan.

2 Department of Surgery, King Hussein Cancer Center, (KHCC) Amman, Jordan.

3 Department of Obs/ Gyn, Jordan University of Science and Technology, Amman, Jordan.

4 Early Detection/Community Outreach, King Hussein Cancer Center, (KHCC) Amman, Jordan.


Background and aims: Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women worldwide and the 13th in Jordan. The cervical smear (Pap smear) is a simple approach to detect pre-cancerous cervical lesions. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of abnormal cervical smears in women seen at the Early Detection/Community Outreach clinic of King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC). Materials and Methods: In this retrospective study, reports of routine cervical Pap smears performed in the pathology department at KHCC from January 2007 to December 2016, were reviewed. During this period, a total of 5,529 routine smears were assessed for epithelial abnormalities and histopathological grading. Results: A total of 210 (3.8%) abnormal Pap smears were found, with atypical squamous cell of undetermined significance (ASC-US) reported in 110 (52.4%) cases, atypical glandular cells of undermined significance (AGUS) in 58 (27.6%), low grade squamous intra-epithelial lesion (LSIL) in 27 (12.9%) and high grade intra-epithelial lesion (HSIL) in 13 (6.2%). Only single cases of ASC-H and squamous cell carcinoma were reported. The available biopsies showed benign findings in 70.1% of cases, low grade squamous intraepithelial lesions in 11.5% and high grade squamous intraepithelial lesions in 18.4%. Conclusions: The low epithelial cell abnormality (EPCA) prevalence illustrated in this study argues against introduction of population-based HPV testing and vaccination. It calls for a more cost-effective measures in a country with limited resources, where a more widely available Pap-smear testing might suffice.


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