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June 10, 1998

Rescreening of Cervical Papanicolaou Smears Using PAPNET

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;279(22):1785-1788. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-22-jac80008

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.

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