Incidence of Anal Dysplasia in a Population of High-Risk Women: Observations at a Cervical Pathology Unit

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Abstract

Objectives

This study aimed to evaluate the incidence of anal dysplasia in women at high risk of developing those lesions and to assess the relationships between positive anal cytology and different risk factors.

Materials and Methods

We performed an observational cross-sectional study involving a patient survey and chart review. The study was conducted at the cervical pathology unit at the Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, Madrid, Spain, from 2011 to 2015. Patients were 215 women aged 18 to 65 years old with risk factors for anal dysplasia, for whom anal evaluation was indicated. Anal cytology was performed in all patients. High-resolution anoscopy and anal biopsy were used to investigate abnormalities. All patients completed a survey regarding sexual practices. The patients' demographic and clinical data were collected by using a retrospective chart review. The main outcome measure was the incidence of anal dysplasia in this population.

Results

Of the 215 patients, 45 (21.0%) presented with cytological abnormalities (atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance, 13.5%; low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion, 5.6%; high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion, 1.9%). Anoscopy was performed in 31 patients (14.4%) and 2 patients (0.9%) had abnormal findings. One case (0.5%) of low-grade anal intraepithelial neoplasia was identified. Only immunosuppression (p = .01) and smoking status (p = .02) were significantly correlated with positive anal cytology results. Limitations of the study include the small single-center sample, a lack of controls, the retrospective design, potential survey response biases, and the nonstandardized survey.

Conclusions

The incidence of abnormal cytological findings was 21.0%, whereas low-grade anal intraepithelial was confirmed in 0.5% of the patients. There is a higher incidence of cytological abnormalities among immunosuppressed women and smokers.

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