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European Journal of Gynaecological Oncology (EJGO) is published by IMR Press from Volume 40 Issue 1 (2019). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with S.O.G.
Reliability of oupatient endometrial brush cytology vs biopsy in postmenopausal symptomatic women
B. Mossa1,*, V. Ebano1, R. Marziani1
1 Department of Gynecological Sciences, Perinatology and Child Health, II School of Medicine University of Rome “La Sapienza” Division of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Sant’Andrea Hospital, Rome (Italy)
Eur. J. Gynaecol. Oncol. 2010, 31(6), 621–626;
Published: 10 December 2010
Objective: To compare outpatient endometrial sampling cytology with conventional biopsy in postmenopausal women with abnormal uterine bleeding and/or abnormal endometrial thickness at ultrasound. Method: Between December 2003 and December 2009 a group of 1,056 postmenopausal women was referred to the Department of Gynecological Sciences, Perinatology an Child Health II Faculty of Medicine, University of Rome, S.Andrea Hospital. Four hundred and eighty-two patients (45.6%) had abnormal uterine bleeding and 602 (57.0%) showed an endometrial thickness > 5 mm at ultrasound. Patients on hormonal therapy (n = 194) including hormonal replacement therapy (HRT) or tamoxifen (TMX), were enrolled in the study. Endometrial cytologic sampling was performed using a brush device (EBC) while endometrial histological sampling was retrieved using a Novak curette. Histologic evaluation showed: a) malignant neoplasia b) atypical hyperplasia c) benign pathology d) normal or atrophic endometrium. The following points were investigated: a) failure in performing a procedure for cervical stenosis or pelvic pain; b) nondiagnostic specimens; c) diagnostic accuracy. Results: Evidence in score pain differences between brush and curette endometrial samples were observed: 50% of patients undergoing brush cytology had lower pain scores (chi-square = 288.33; p = .001), whereas 60% of patients undergoing endometrial biopsy had higher pain scores (chi-square = 264.84; p = .001). The failure rate in performing procedures was 8.0% vs 4.1%, and the results were statistically significant on the McNemar test, respectively p = .01 and p = .001. A nondiagnostic specimen was obtained in 3.9% of cases by EBC, and 10.3% of cases by the Novak curette (p = .001). Cytological evaluation had a sensitivity of 100%, specificity of 99%, positive and negative predictive value of 97% and 100% for diagnosing malignant neoplasia. Cytology had high diagnostic accuracy for atypical hyperplasia: sensitivity 100%, specificity 99%, positive and negative predictive value 83% and 100%, respectively. Conclusions: EBC is a reliable, well tolerated outpatient diagnostic tool for endometrial sampling in detecting early-stage cancer in postmenopausal patients at high risk for endometrial cancer.