Clinical significance of atypical glandular cells by the 2001 Bethesda system in cytohistologic correlation

Chiung Ru Lai*, Chih Yi Hsu, Shyh Haw Tsay, Anna Fen Yau Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate incidence, cytology findings and pathology outcome of atypical glandular cells (AGC) in Pap smears according to the 2001 Bethesda criteria. Study Design: From 103,073 consecutive Pap smears, 113 (0.1%) AGC cases were identified. Of these, 91 (80%) had adequate histologic evaluation included in this study. Results: Abnormal histology findings were seen in 38 patients (42%). Final pathology results revealed 14 endometrial adenocarcinomas, 5 endocervical adenocarcinomas, 1 cervical squamous cell carcinoma, 1 endometrial stromal sarcoma, 6 other malignancies, 4 endocervical adenocarcinomas in situ, 4 cases of endometrial complex hyperplasia, 1 case of endocervical glandular dysplasia and 2 cases of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 3 with glandular involvement. Women with AGC, favor neoplasia, were more likely to have significant pathology than those with AGC, not otherwise specified, 74% vs. 33% (p = 0.002). Some characteris tic background cytologic findings were also noticed in most cases of endometrial, fallopian tube and endocervical adenocarcinoma. Conclusion: A diagnosis of AGC is more clinically significant by the 2001 Bethesda System, especially the "AGC, favor neoplastic" category. Some background cytologic features are important because they are indicators of malignancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-567
Number of pages5
JournalActa Cytologica
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2008


  • Atypical glandular cells
  • Bethesda system
  • Cytopathology
  • Histopathology
  • Papanicolaou smear


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