Women's Health and Education Center (WHEC)

Gynecologic Pathology and Cytopathology

List of Articles

  • Update on Colposcopic Terminology
    The purpose of this document is review new colposcopy terminology and its implementation for diagnosis, treatment, and research. This document has been expanded to include terminology of both cervix and vagina. The current nomenclature committee is the first that presents and International Federation of Cervical Pathology and Colposcopy (IFCPC) terminology dedicated to colposcopy of the vagina. Various human papillomas virus (HPV) lesions and intraepithelial neoplasia may occur in the vagina as a primary lesion or in continuum with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. The popular terms “satisfactory colposcopy” and “unsatisfactory colposcopy” have been replaced. The colposcopic examination should be assessed for three variables: 1) adequate or inadequate, with the reason given; 2) squamo-columnar junction visibility; 3) transformation zone type. Other additions were the localization of the lesion to either inside or outside the transformation zone and determinants of size as well as location of cervical lesions. Two new signs are included in the terminology – the “inner border sign” and “ridge sign”.

  • Pathogenesis of Cervical Adenocarcinoma
    The purpose of this document is to review cytological screening, DNA testing procedures and pathological features of glandular cells abnormalities. Consensus guidelines are available for the management of women with cervical cytological abnormalities and cervical cancer precursors. These evidence-based guidelines were developed in 2001 by an expert consensus conference sponsored by the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology. Vaccines are currently being developed to reduce susceptibility to HPV infection and persistent infection. Widespread acceptance of these vaccines should significantly reduce the incidence of HPV-associated disease, thereby alleviating a significant fraction of morbidity associated with HPV infections.

  • The Pap Smear
    Before the Pap smear was introduced into clinical practice, carcinoma of the cervix was the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among American women. No other test has been as successful as the Pap smear in eradicating cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is still a leading cause of cancer deaths in women where Pap smear screening is not widely available. Screening for cervical cancer and its precursors with Pap tests represents the most successful cancer detection strategy ever developed. This document reflects emerging clinical and scientific advances. This information should not be constructed as dictating an exclusive course of treatment or procedure to be followed. Variation in practice may be warranted based on the needs of the individual patient, resources, and limitations unique to the type of practice or institution.

  • Value of Cervical Cytology: Cervical Dysplasia & HPV
    Dysplasia or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) means disordered growth and development of the epithelial lining of the cervix. Although cervical cancer was the leading cause of cancer death in USA in 1930s, both the incidence and mortality from cervical cancer have decreased by almost one half since the early 1970s, largely as a result of widespread screening with the Pap-test. New technology for performing cervical cytology is evolving rapidly, as are recommendations for classifying and interpreting the results. In USA cervical cancer is the third most common gynecologic malignancy and in countries where cytologic screening is not widely available, cervical cancer remains common. Cervical cytology screening programs have markedly reduced the cervical cancer incidence in the communities. The purpose of this document is to provide a review of the best available evidence on screening of cervical cancer.

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