Journal of Cytology
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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 68-72

Sexually transmitted diseases and cytopathology of cervix

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, CSM Medical University, (Upgraded KG's Medical College), Lucknow, India

Correspondence Address:
J S Misra
3/8 Vivek Khand, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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The association between STDs and cytopathological changes in the cervical epithelium have been investigated in the cervical cytology smears available in 30,415 women during 30 years of screening. Routine cervical cytological screening is in progress in women attending gynaecology OPD of Queen Mary's Hospital, Lucknow since April 1971 and till December 2002, a total of 30,415 women have been cytological examined for early detection of cervical cancer and presence of four STDs namely Trichomonas vaginalis, Candida albicans, Herpes simplex and Condyloma (HPV). Trichomonal infection was found to be the most common STDs infecting the lower female genital tract (2.7%). The viral STDs-HSV and HPV were seen in 0.3% and 0.6% of cases respectively. These pathogens were highly associated with squamous intraepithelial lesion (SIL) of cervix and invasive carcinoma. All the four STDs were more frequently encountered with erosion cervix and vaginal discharge. The two non-viral STDs and HPV were more prevalent in younger sexually active women between 21-40 years while 65.9% of HSV cases were found in older women above 40 years age. The accumulated data indicate a possible role of viral STDs in the etiology of cervical cancer predominately in its pre-invasive phase. Hence the cytological detection of STDs should be made mandatory in a cytological surveillance programme for checking the onset/progression of the disease.

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