Operator variability in disease detection and grading by colposcopy in patients with mild dysplastic smears

M. Sideri, F. Schettino, L. Spinaci, N. Spolti, P. Crosignani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. To determine interoperator variability in the colposcopic evaluation of patients with mild dysplastic smears, retrospective comparison of colposcopy and biopsy results in 856 patients examined by 11 colposcopists in the Outpatient Colposcopy Clinic of 'L. Mangiagalli' Institute, Milano, was performed. Methods. The patients underwent a complete colposcopic assessment and target biopsy on suspect areas if a screening smear showed mild dysplasia. Colposcopic findings and disease detection rate for each operator were compared. Results. There was no significant (P > 0.05) difference in the recording of abnormal colposcopic findings. Significant differences were found, however, in abnormal transformation zone grading (P <0.001), biopsy rate (P <0.05), and squamocolumnar junction visualization (P <0.005). There was no significant difference in overall disease detection (P > 0.5) but there was a statistically significant, inverse relation (r = 0.6, P <0.01) between the high grade (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grades 2 and 3) and low grade (human papillomavirus/cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 1) detection rate for each operator. Conclusions. High grade disease detection in patients with mild dysplastic smears is influenced the subjectivity of the colposcopic examination. This should be considered when planning optimal management for patients with mild dysplasia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1601-1605
Number of pages5
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • biopsy
  • cervical intraepithelial neoplasia
  • colposcopy
  • observer variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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