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May 9, 1959


Author Affiliations


From the Department of Surgery, Division of Gynecology, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.

JAMA. 1959;170(2):165-168. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010020023007

Examination of cervical and vaginal smears for cytologic evidence of cancer has become frequent since its introduction in 1943. The number of examinations done in a single laboratory increased from 5,957 in 1950 to 27,602 in 1957. Follow-up studies have been possible on 1,044 women from whom vaginal smears were obtained in 1950. Experience has led to improved techniques and more reliable criteria for interpreting results. In one series the number of false-positives, judged by subsequent tissue studies, was 3.5% and the false-negatives 7 %. Comparison of cytological results with other clinical and laboratory data has also been possible in 27,602 cases in a recent 12-month period; in this series a doubtful or positive smear led to the diagnosis of unsuspected uterine cancer in 77 cases. It is believed that the value of largescale cytological screening of women by this technique is well demonstrated by the results here reported.