Table 1

Categories of inadequate smears, their mean age and subsequent cervical pathology detected within 5 years

Inadequate categoryNumber (A)Mean age (in years)No. (%) of abnormal smears, without confirmed CIN at colposcopy and histologyNo. (%) of CIN I at colposcopy and histologyNo. (%) of CIN II and CIN III at colposcopy and histologyNo. lost to follow up (B)No. of inadequates corrected for non-responders (A−B)No. (%) reaching CIN II or more at colposcopy and histology (corrected for lost to follow up)
CIN, cervical intraepithelial neoplasia.
Multiple reasons3053832 (10.49)7 (2.30)8 (2.62)282778 (2.89)
Poor fixation38940.431 (7.97)4 (1.03)9 (2.31)423479 (2.59)
Obscured by blood26538.4635 (13.2)3 (1.13)6 (2.26)212446 (2.46)
Obscured by polymorphs29038.234 (11.72)9 (3.1)6 (2.07)212696 (2.23)
Too few squames38340.6528 (7.31)4 (1.04)6 (1.57)303536 (1.70)
Too thick21036.1613 (6.19)3 (1.43)3 (1.43)141963 (1.53)
Cytolysis/obscured by organisms13031.812 (9.23)2 (1.54)1 (0.77)231071 (0.93)
Total197237.67185 (9.38)32 (1.62)39 (1.98)179179339 (2.18)