Detection of cervical cancer and its precursors by endocervical curettage in 13,115 colposcopically guided biopsy examinations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations


Objective: Endocervical curettage (ECC) specimens obtained during colposcopy can detect cervical cancer and precursors otherwise missed by biopsy alone, but the procedure can be painful and reduce compliance with needed follow-up. ECC is routinely performed in the Calgary Health Region colposcopy clinics, permitting a look at its real-world utility. Study Design: We analyzed pathology and colposcopy reports from 2003 to 2007. We calculated the added diagnostic utility of ECC compared with cervical biopsy alone. Results: ECC increased the diagnostic yield of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or worse (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia [CIN]2+) in 1.01% of 13,115 colposcopically guided biopsy examinations. Therefore, 99 ECC specimens were taken to detect 1 additional CIN2+. ECC detected 5.4% of 2443 CIN2+ subjects otherwise missed by biopsy alone. Utility was greatest among women aged 46 years or older referred after a high-grade cytology. Conclusion: ECC is rarely informative when used routinely in colposcopic practice. Older women referred after high-risk cytology benefit most from ECC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481.e1-481.e9
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


Cite this