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Clinical impact of identifying Trichomonas vaginalis on cervicovaginal (Papanicolaou) smears

Clinical impact of identifying Trichomonas vaginalis on cervicovaginal (Papanicolaou) smears

Diagnostic Cytopathology 24(3): 195-199

ISSN/ISBN: 8755-1039

PMID: 11241904

DOI: 10.1002/1097-0339(200103)24:3<195::aid-dc1040>;2-k

The purpose of this study was to understand how clinicians manage asymptomatic women after Trichomonas has been reported on Papanicolaou (Pap) smears. Clinical information was obtained from questionnaires sent to healthcare providers whenever Trichomonas was identified during the study period. Trichomonas was identified in 173 (1.4%) of 12,547 Pap smears examined. Completed questionnaires were returned on 95 (55%) patients, and 92 patients were included in this study. Sixty-three (68%) patients were asymptomatic, 16 (18%) had symptoms characteristic of infection, and 13 (14%) had nonspecific symptoms. Twenty-six (28%) patients received treatment during the original clinic visits. After the Pap smear reported Trichomonas, 49 (81%) of the 66 patients were contacted and treated, 7 (12%) were contacted and scheduled for further evaluation, and no action was taken on the remaining 10 (17%) patients. There was a significant association between presenting with symptoms and receiving treatment at the time of the original visit (P < 0.001), but not with receiving subsequent treatment. Clinical suspicion of infection was also associated with receiving treatment at the time of the original visit only (P < 0.001). Clinical suspicion of infection correlated with symptoms and results of wet mount smears (P < 0.001). In conclusion, the Pap smear report of Trichomonas identification directly impacted the management of 61% of patients and served as confirmation for clinical management in another 28% who had received treatment at the time of original visit. Despite the fact that most patients were asymptomatic, the majority received treatment and/or evaluation after the Pap smear report was received.

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Accession: 003680666

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