Rate of Opportunistic Pap Smear Screening and Patterns of Epithelial Cell Abnormalities in Pap Smears in Ajman, United Arab Emirates

Ghaith J. Al Eyd, Rizwana B. Shaik


Objectives: The aim of this study was to estimate the proportion of women undergoing Papanicolaou (Pap) smear examinations, and the frequency of epithelial cell abnormalities in a teaching hospital in one emirate of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) during a three-year period. Methods: A retrospective study of 602 patient records from July 2007 to July 2010 was done in a teaching hospital in Ajman, UAE. The variables studied were age, ethnicity, menopausal status, and abnormalities in the Pap smear. Data were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences and presented mainly as percentages; to assess associations, the chi-square test was used. Results: The total number of outpatients who attended the Obstetrics & Gynaecology Department from July 2007 to July 2010 was 150,111 patients, of which 602 (0.4% of the total) had a Pap smear test. The sample was 50.1% Arabs and 49.9% other nationalities. While 73% of the outpatients had specific complaints, 27% came for a routine screening. Epithelial cell abnormalities were seen in 3.3% of the sample, with atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS) found in 1.8%, low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSILs) found in 1.2%, and high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSILs) found in 0.3%. There were no cases of squamous cell carcinoma. Conclusion: Voluntary routine Pap smear screening was remarkably low in the study group. ASCUS was the most common epithelial cell abnormality. Community health education and opportunistic screening for cervical cancer are recommended for both national and expatriate women in the region. 


Papanicolaou smear; Cervix cancer; Cancer screening; United Arab Emirates.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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