Performance indicators of organized cervical screening in Romagna (Italy)

L. Bucchi, F. Falcini, P. Schincaglia, F. Desiderio, A. Bondi, M. Farneti, D. Casadei Giunchi, M. Serafini, D. Canuti, L. Caprara, F. Sabbadini, F. Monari, P. Sassoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The availability of published data from organized cervical screening programmes in southern Europe is scant. In the Italian area of Romagna, a first round of organized screening (based on a 3-yearly Pap smear for women aged 25-64 years) was initiated between December 1995 and January 1997 and was completed in an average of 42 months (range 36-48 months). The target population included 305 478 women. Of these, 253 949 were eligible and received a personal letter of invitation. Age-specific screening performance indicators were calculated according to standard methods. The response rate within 6 months of invitation was 49.1% (n=124 621). The total participation rate including women who presented later was 61.7% (n=156 735). The recall rate was 35.2 per 1000 of participants (n=5514). Positive cytology results were distributed as follows: atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance/atypical glandular cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS/AGUS) 40.1%, low-grade squamous intraepithelial neoplasia (LGSIL) 48.6%, high-grade squamous intraepithelial neoplasia (HGSIL) 10.7% and carcinoma 0.7%0. Compliance to colposcopy follow-up was 93.4% (n=5149). The biopsy rate was 52.4% (n=2696) of patients undergoing colposcopy. The detection rate was 4.5 per 1000 of participants (n=707) for CIN2-3 and 0.5 (n=75) for invasive carcinoma. The proportion of microinvasive carcinomas was 36.0% (n=27). The positive predictive value for CIN2-3/carcinoma was 5.8% for the cytology reports of ASCUS/AGUS, 7.6% for those of LGSIL, 76.5% for those of HGSIL, and 100.0% for those of carcinoma (80.4% for combined HGSIL/carcinoma). The ratio of observed to expected (or prevalent to incident) cases of invasive carcinoma was 2.35 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.85-2.95). In conclusion, most early results of the programme were compatible with an acceptable performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-228
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer Prevention
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003


  • Cervical cancer
  • Indicator
  • Mass screening
  • Monitoring
  • Pap smear
  • Performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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