"As always my visit was pleasant, I always feel as if I am visiting with long time friends when I am in the office . Dr Miller listens and explains thoroughly and I never feel rushed or ignored"

Meet Your OB/GYN Specialist

Private Practice: Since 1980 to the present
Board-Certified: American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Fellowship: Infertility, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Chicago, IL
Residency: Ob/Gyn, Cook County Hospital, Chicago, IL and
Mt. Sinai Hospital, Chicago, IL
MD: University of Health Sciences Chicago Medical School
Instructor: Obstetrics and Gynecology, Christ Community Hospital,
MacNeal Memorial Hospital and Palos Community Hospital
Dr. Miller

Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

The Range of Pap Test ResultsLos resultados de la prueba de Papanicolaou (Pap)

The Range of Pap Test Results

When your Pap test is sent to the lab, the lab studies your cell samples and reports any abnormal cell changes. Your healthcare provider can discuss these changes with you. In some cases, an abnormal Pap test is due to an infection. More serious cell changes range from dysplasia to cancer. Talk to your healthcare provider about your Pap test.

Normal Results

Cervical cells, even normal ones, are always changing. As they mature, normal squamous cells move from deeper layers within the cervix. Over time, these cells flatten and cover the surface of the cervix. Within the cervical canal, the cells are different. These glandular cells are taller and not as flat as the cells on the surface of the cervix. When a Pap test sample shows healthy cells of both types, the results are negative. Keep having Pap tests as often as directed.

Abnormal Results

A positive Pap test result means some cells in the sample showed abnormal changes. These results are grouped by the type of cell change and the location, or extent, of the changes. Depending on the results, you may need further testing.

  • Inflammation: Noncancerous changes are present. They may be due to normal cell repair. Or, they may be caused by an infection, such as HPV or yeast. Further testing may be needed. (Also called reactive cellular changes.)

  • Atypical squamous cells: Test results are unclear. Cells on the surface of the cervix show changes, but their significance is not yet known. Testing for HPV and other STDs may be needed. Treatment may be required. (Reported as ASC-US or ASC-H.)

  • Atypical glandular cells: Cells lining the cervical canal show abnormal changes. Further testing is likely. You may also have treatment to destroy or remove problem cells. (Reported as AGC.)

  • Mild dysplasia: Cells show distinct changes. More testing or HPV typing may be done. You may also have treatment to destroy or remove problem cells. (Reported as low-grade SIL or CIN 1.)

  • Moderate to severe dysplasia: Cells show precancerous changes. Or, noninvasive cancer (carcinoma in situ) may be present. Treatment to destroy or remove problem cells is likely. (Reported as high-grade SIL or CIN 2 or CIN 3.)

  • Cancer: Cancer has spread deep into or beyond the cervix. Tests to assess the cancer's extent are likely. The type of treatment will depend on the test results and other factors, such as age and health history.

Publication Source: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

Online Source: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services

Date Last Reviewed: 2005-08-05T00:00:00-06:00

Date Last Modified: 2004-10-14T00:00:00-06:00

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