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HSR Research > Abnormal cell Pap smear

Abnormal cell Pap smear

An abnormal cell Pap smear may occur due to different reasons. A Pap smear is considered to be the main cytological test to detect abnormalities in cervical cells which can progress to cancerous lesions. At the same time, a Pap smear helps to assess the state of cervical tissue and it can show the presence of different viral and bacterial infections. However, this test is designed rather to detect health problems, but its results don’t always provide an exact diagnosis. In order to better evaluate cervical conditions, there may be used additional tests, like colposcopy and biopsy. 

In some cases certain factors can make difficulties for cytological analysis of cervical cells, and an abnormal cell Pap smear may go undetected. Pap smear should not be done during menstruation or if a cervical inflammation is present. Moreover, it is recommended for women to avoid sexual contacts, use of tampons, vaginal douches and vaginal creams within 48 hours priot to a Pap smear. If these rules are not observed, the results of the test may be false. 

The causes of an abnormal cell Pap smear are different. Sometimes cervical abnormities are related to natural cell changes during the menopause. Rather often cervical cells look abnormal under microscope because of an inflammation caused by viruses or bacteria. In such cases doctors usually prescribe an appropriate antiviral or antibacterial treatment and a repeated Pap smear. Cervical cytology most often returns to normal after the present infection is eliminated. 

Abnormal cell Pap smear may indicate the presence of precancerous cells, condition which is called dysplasia. The diagnosis of cervical dysplasia requires histological evaluation usually done with biopsy. According to the amount of abnormal cells in the cervical epithelium three stages of cervical dysplasia are distinguished: mild dysplasia (about on third of cervical epithelial cells are abnormal), moderate dysplasia (on half or two thirds of cells are abnormal), and severe dysplasia (the entire thickness of cervical epithelium is affected by abnormal cells).

Cervical dysplasia is often linked to Human Papilloma virus (HPV). HPV infection, in particular with certain HPV types called high-risk types, is the main risk factor of progression from cervical dysplasia to cancer, because virtually all cases of cervical cancer are associated with these types of HPV. For this reason, if an abnormal cell Pap smear is suggestive of dysplasia, it is highly recommended to undergo an HPV DNA test which provides the possibility to identify a high risk of cervical cancer in women., ASCUS Pap Smear, Pap Smear Test

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

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

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