Health Science Report
Site Navigation

Research that helps:

Other Topics: Picture of HPV, Picture of HPV Virus, HPV Disease, HPV Shot Vaccination, Pregnancy and Cervical Dysplasia, Human Papilloma Virus Symptom, Human Papillomavirus HPV, High Grade Cervical Dysplasia, Colposcopy and Biopsy, HPV Genital Wart

HSR Research > Abnormal cell in Pap smear

Abnormal cell in Pap smear

The presence of an abnormal cell in Pap smear may be suggestive of different health problems. The main purpose of the Pap smear is to detect cervical cell changes that may lead to malignant lesions. Moreover, this test is able to reveal harmful microorganisms and evaluate the state of cervical mucosa. At the same time, the Pap smear can only detect a condition, and an accurate diagnosis may be established starting from results of additional tests. 

It is not recommended to undergo a Pap smear during menstruation or in case of an inflammation, since its results may be false. These factors often make it hard to analyze the sample and an abnormal cell in Pap smear may go unrecognized. Women should also avoid sexual intercourse, use of tampons or vaginal preparations in order to ensure the accuracy of a Pap smear. 

During the Pap smear test, the examination of a cytological sample is directed to evaluate shape, size, amount and structure of cervical cells. The woman is healthy when her Pap smear is normal. The result of the test is considered as normal if all collected cells have normal size and shape, and no abnormal cell in Pap smear is detected. Abnormal cells have irregular shape and size and their cellular structures are changed. 

The detection of an abnormal cell in Pap smear doesn't necessarily mean the woman has cervical cancer. In some cases cervical cells may look irregular when there is an inflammation induced by bacterial agents, like Chlamydia, trichomona or gonococcus. Usually after the causes of the inflammation are treated, the Pap smear comes back normal. 

Health care providers use special terms to describe an abnormal Pap smear: mild dysplasia, moderate dysplasia, severe dysplasia, carcinoma. Women diagnosed with a mild cervical dysplasia should undergo a follow-up Pap smear in a few months. In most cases this condition goes away on its own. If an abnormal cell in Pap smear is still detected during follow-up examination, the woman should have additional diagnostic tests, for example a colposcopy and HPV DNA test.

If moderate or severe dysplasia is suspected based on Pap smear results, a biopsy should be done. A biopsy is the removal of a small piece of cervical tissue for histological examination. This procedure helps to make an accurate diagnosis. In many cases when tests show an abnormal cell in Pap smear and high grade dysplasia is diagnosed, a consultation with an oncologist is required., Pap Smear Test, Abnormal Pap Smear

Research Topics

Click a topic button

Cervical Dysplasia
Genital Warts
Plantar Warts
Genital Herpes
Oral Herpes
Other Conditions

Dr. Joe Glickman, Jr., M.D.

Copyright © 1996-2016 by Health Science Report™ for the following: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional.