Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor
To the Editor.— Dr O'Leary and colleagues1 report the results of their study using PAPNET-assisted
rescreening of Pap smears to identify any missed abnormalities that remain
following 2 rounds of manual screening in a low-risk population. Despite the
low probability of false-negative results, the investigators found 6 additional
abnormal results. PAPNET may have identified nearly all remaining false negatives
in this series, considering the laboratory's reported prevalence of abnormality
of 6% and assuming a relatively conservative false-negative rate of 15% for
manual screening (calculated as follows: population × prevalence ×
manual screening false negative × rescreening false negative = 5478
× 0.06 × 0.15 × 0.15 = 7 cases; PAPNET identified 6 cases).
The main conclusion supported by this study is that PAPNET can identify abnormalities
missed by 2 separate manual examinations by a high-quality reference laboratory
serving a low-risk population of women.
Mango LJ, Radensky PW. Rescreening of Cervical Papanicolaou Smears Using PAPNET. JAMA. 1998;279(22):1785-1788. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-22-jac80008