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Liquid-based endometrial cytology associated with curettage in the investigation of endometrial carcinoma in a population of 1987 women



The aim of this study was to investigate the diagnostic accuracy of liquid-based endometrial cytology, in comparison with histology.


1987 patients scheduled for hysteroscopy were enrolled in this study. All patients proceeded sequentially through endometrial cytology, hysteroscopy and then dilatation and curettage (D&C). Cytology sampling was performed by brushing the uterus cavity using SAP-1 and the sample was prepared to liquid-based smear using SurePath technology. The slides were stained by Papanicolaou method. All cytological diagnosis was correlated with the D&C histological diagnosis.


Cyto-histological correlations were possible in 1672 (89.3%) patients: in 254 (12.8%) patients the D&C was inadequate, in 75 (3.8%) patients the cytology was inadequate, and in 14 (0.7%) patients both were inadequate. In postmenopausal women, 758 of 790 cytologies (96.0%) were adequate, while 586 of 790 histologies (74.2%) were adequate. SAP-1 provided more sufficient materials for cytology than D&C for histology (P < 0.001). Taking atypical hyperplasia or worse as a positive result, the diagnostic accuracy of liquid-based endometrial cytology was 86.1%, sensitivity was estimated at 70.3%, specificity at 88.5%, positive predictive value at 48.0% and negative predictive value at 95.2%. Taking endometrial carcinoma as a positive result, the diagnostic accuracy of liquid-based endometrial cytology was 94.4%; sensitivity was estimated at 53.2%, specificity at 98.6%, positive predictive value at 79.8% and negative predictive value at 95.3%.


Liquid-based endometrial cytology can be considered a useful method for detecting of endometrial pathology as a first-line approach.

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Correspondence to Qinping Liao.

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The protocol of the study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the Peking University First Hospital.

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The authors have no conflicts of interest relevant to this article.

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Yang, X., Ma, K., Chen, R. et al. Liquid-based endometrial cytology associated with curettage in the investigation of endometrial carcinoma in a population of 1987 women. Arch Gynecol Obstet 296, 99–105 (2017).

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  • Screening
  • Endometrial cytology
  • Endometrial precancers
  • Endometrial carcinoma