We compared the histologic follow-up of 368 smears or slides with an interpretation of “atypical squamous cells, cannot rule out high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion” (ASC-H) based on conventional and liquid-based preparations and age groups in a high-risk population. Patients with an ASC-H interpretation were 17 to 87 years old (mean, 36.8 years). The specimens were 52 liquid-based preparations and 316 conventional smears. For 218 cases (59.2%), including 28 liquid-based preparations (65%) and 190 conventional smears (58%), histologic follow-up was available. In 20 liquid-based preparations (71%) and 152 conventional smears (80.0%), cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) or higher was revealed on subsequent biopsy. Other results were as follows: liquid-based preparations, CIN1, 11 (55%); CIN2/3, 9 (45%); conventional smears, CIN1, 78 (51.3%); CIN2/3, 70 (46.1%); squamous cell carcinoma, 4 (2.6%). There was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of CIN or higher on subsequent biopsy after an interpretation of ASC-H based on preparation types. The incidences of CIN in patients 40 years old or older and patients younger than 40 years were 66% and 84%, respectively, a statistically significant difference. Because of the high incidence of clinically significant lesions noted on subsequent follow-up, patients with an interpretation of ASC-H should be observed closely and referred for colposcopic examination regardless of their age.

Author notes

Presented in part at the 91st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Cytopathology, Salt Lake City, UT, November, 5–9, 2002.