Examination of vaginal and cervical smears gives results that generally agree with the result of subsequent study of tissues for biopsy, but occasionally the smear is reported as positive and the biopsy as negative. In a series of 12,885 women there were 100 whose initial cervical smear was reported as positive for malignant cells. In 58 of these the biopsy was positive; in 42 the diagnosis of malignancy was not confirmed by biopsy during the immediate follow-up period. In 37 of the 42 the cause of the discrepancy was found to be an error of sampling or of interpretation. In the remaining five cases no explanation was found.
Jennings ER, Dale E, Nelson HM, Brines OA, Wilson G. UTERINE CYTOLOGY-THE "FALSE-POSITIVE" REPORT. JAMA. 1959;170(16):1896–1898. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010160012004
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: