Should LSIL with ASC-H (LSIL-H) in cervical smears be an independent category? A study on SurePath™ specimens with review of literature
Springer Science and Business Media LLC -- CytoJournal
DOI 10.1186/1742-6413-4-7


Cervical smears exhibiting unequivocal features of 'low grade squamous intraepithelial lesion' (LSIL) are occasionally also admixed with some cells suspicious for, but not diagnostic of, 'high grade squamous intraepithelial lesion' (HSIL). Only a few studies, mostly reported as s, have evaluated this concurrence. In this study, we evaluate the current evidence that favors a distinct category for "LSIL, cannot exclude HSIL" (LSIL-H), and suggest a management algorithm based on combinations of current ASCCP guidelines for related interpretations.


We studied SurePath™ preparations of cervical specimens from various institutions during one year period. Cytohisto correlation was performed in cases with cervical biopsies submitted to our institution. The status of HPV DNA testing was also noted in some LSIL-H cases with biopsy results.


Out of 77,979 cases 1,970 interpreted as LSIL (1,523), LSIL-H (146), 'atypical squamous cells, cannot exclude HSIL' (ASC-H) (109), and HSIL (192) were selected. Concurrent biopsy results were available in 40% (Total 792 cases: 557 LSIL, 88 LSIL-H, 38 ASCH, and 109 HSIL). Biopsy results were grouped into A. negative for dysplasia (ND), B. low grade (HPV, CIN1, CIN1 with HPV), and C. high grade (CIN 2 and above).

The positive predictive values for various biopsy results in relation to initial cytopathologic interpretation were: a. LSIL: (557 cases): ND 32% (179), low grade- 58% (323), high grade- 10% (55); b. LSIL-H: (88 cases): ND 24% (21), low grade- 43% (38), high grade- 33% (29); c. ASCH: (38 cases): ND 32% (12), low grade- 37% (14), high grade- 31% (12); d. HSIL (109 cases): ND 5% (6), low grade 26% (28), high grade 69% (75). The patterns of cervical biopsy results in cases reported as LSIL-H were compared with that observed in cases with LSIL, ASC-H, and HSIL.

94% (32 of 34) of LSIL-H were positive for high risk (HR) HPV, 1 was negative for HR HPV but positive for low risk (LR), and 1 LSIL-H was negative for HR and LR both.


LSIL-H overlapped with LSIL and ASC-H, but was distinct from HSIL. A management algorithm comparable to ASC-H and HSIL appears to be appropriate in LSIL-H cases.