Normal endometrial cells in liquid-based cervical cytology specimens in women aged 40 or older

John W. Moroney, Christopher M. Zahn, Robert B. Heaton, Barbara Crothers, Brian S. Kendall, John C. Elkas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective.: The 2001 Bethesda System consensus statement directs the reporting of endometrial cells on cervical cytologic preparations in women aged 40 years or older. Our objective was to assess the significance of endometrial cells on cervical liquid-based cytology (LBC) specimens in this population. Methods.: The population included women aged 40 years or older in whom endometrial cells were identified in otherwise normal LBC specimens from December 2001 through June 2005, and who subsequently underwent endometrial sampling within a 12-month period. Patient age, menopausal status, hormonal use, the presence or absence of co-incident symptoms and endometrial sampling results were recorded. Results.: Endometrial cells were identified on LBC specimens in 2494 women during the study period, for an incidence of 0.4%. Of these, 370 women underwent endometrial sampling within 12 months of the incident LBC preparation and met inclusion criteria. In asymptomatic premenopausal women, sampled solely due to the presence of endometrial cells, 2.1% were identified with significant endometrial pathology, compared to 2.6% of symptomatic premenopausal women. In menopausal women, only those with symptoms (mainly bleeding) had significant pathology on subsequent sampling (25%); none of the asymptomatic menopausal women were found to have hyperplasia or carcinoma. No significant differences were identified in premenopausal women according to the time of sampling during the menstrual cycle or use of oral contraceptives. Conclusion.: Endometrial cells on LBC preparations, even in the absence of symptoms in premenopausal women aged 40 years or older, are associated with significant uterine pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)672-676
Number of pages5
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Endometrial hyperplasia
  • Liquid based cytology
  • Normal endometrial cells
  • Papanicolaou smear
  • Thin Prep
  • Uterine cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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