Author(s): Slama J, Freitag P, Dundr P, Duskova J, Fischerova D,
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: The incidence of cervical cancers increases with age. Due to the trend of increasing age of first pregnancy, abnormal Pap smears including those classified as atypical glandular cells (AGC) are being found more often in early pregnancy. Once invasive cancer is excluded, conservative management of squamous intraepithelial lesions (SIL) in pregnancy is considered safe; however, optimal management of AGC is not well established. The aim of our study was to evaluate the outcome of patients with AGC diagnosed from smears during pregnancy. METHODS: The study included 17 patients referred to us in early pregnancy with Pap smears reported as AGC: 11 not otherwise specified (AGC-NOS), five favour neoplasia (AGC-FN) and one adenocarcinoma in situ (AIS). Thirty-one with high-grade SIL (HSIL) Pap smears confirmed on punch biopsy in early pregnancy comprised a control group. Human papillomavirus (HPV) positivity was found in seven patients with persistent AGC-NOS (including all four who had CIN3 postpartum). All the women were initially examined by expert colposcopy and those with AGC-FN or AIS smears also by transrectal ultrasound to exclude invasive endocervical cancer. Follow-up controls were carried out every 8-12 weeks and, if there were no signs of progression, revaluation was scheduled 6-8 weeks after delivery. RESULTS: The mean age of the women was 31.4 years. Conization in one patient in the study group was performed in the 16th week of pregnancy due to colposcopic signs of microinvasive squamous cell cancer confirmed on histology. Progression to invasive cancer was not found in any of the other 16 patients in the study group or in the control group. Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia or AIS was confirmed postpartum by conization or punch biopsy in 47.1\% (8/17) of patients in the study group and, in 77.4\% (24/31) of patients in the control group. CONCLUSIONS: Conservative management of women with AGC in pregnancy is safe where invasive cancer is excluded. As histological verification of glandular pre-cancerous lesions by punch biopsy is not reliable and the postpartum regression rate cannot be determined precisely, conization should be performed in all cases with AGC-FN or AIS. Triage of persistent AGC-NOS with HPV testing is useful in distinguishing significant underlying lesions. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
This article was published in Cytopathology
and referenced in Advancements in Genetic Engineering