Research Article| Volume 159, ISSUE 1, P172-175, November 2011

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Endometrial hyperplasia – the dilemma of management remains: a retrospective observational study of 280 women



      To quantify the rate of inconsistency in histopathological reporting between endometrial biopsy specimens (obtained by Pipelle® endometrial sampler or curettage) and hysterectomy specimens using the World Health Organization classification criteria.

      Study design

      A retrospective review of the records of 280 women with a histopathological diagnosis of endometrial hyperplasia treated in Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, UK from 1 January 1998 to 31 May 2009.


      Discrepancy was found between the histopathological results of endometrial samples and hysterectomy specimens. The discrepancy was doubled for specimens obtained using a Pipelle® endometrial sampler, with false-positive (i.e. overdiagnosis when the hysterectomy specimen showed a better diagnosis) and false-negative (i.e. underdiagnosis when the hysterectomy specimen showed a worse diagnosis) rates of 5.3% and 22.6%, respectively. For curettage specimens, the false-positive and false-negative rates were 1.8% and 13.2%, respectively. All cases of curettage were performed under general or regional anaesthesia, and were preceded by hysteroscopy. Apart from age, no risk factors were associated with a worse diagnosis. The association of age differed between types of endometrial hyperplasia and cancer; the strongest association was seen for cancer and the weakest association was seen for simple hyperplasia.


      Hysteroscopy and curettage may be considered when simple or complex hyperplasia is diagnosed from a specimen obtained with a Pipelle® endometrial sampler. When a diagnosis of atypical hyperplasia is made, irrespective of the method of endometrial sampling, the gynaecologist must be concerned that endometrial carcinoma exists concomitantly within the uterus.


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