[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
January 15, 1973

Reliability of Negative Gynecological Cytological Findings

JAMA. 1973;223(3):326. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220030060024

To the Editor.—  In a review of the literature, Ostergard and Gondos1 cited the range of false-negative cervical cytological findings as 1.4% to 30%. The authors attempted to establish the incidence of false-negative cytological findings in their own studies by colposcopically directed biopsy.1 In a series of 100 patients with negative cytological findings, they found three patients with mild dysplasia and one patient with mild to moderate dysplasia, indicative of a false-negative rate of 4% for early squamous dysplasia. No instances of intra-epithelial carcinoma were found.Quality control standards for cytology have been set by the American College of Pathologists that embody two criteria: (1) 10% of the negative cervical cytological findings screened and reported by cytotechnologists must be reviewed by the cytopathologist, and (2) the surgical pathologist must have the accompanying cytology specimen and report when he reviews the tissue specimen submitted.Since there are few reports