How is cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) diagnosed?

Since CIN usually does not cause any symptoms, a Pap smear is needed to find abnormal cells. If the Pap test is unclear or abnormalities are found, the next step might be a colposcopy to examine the cervix and surrounding structures under a microscope.

The procedure can be performed in a doctor’s office, where a set of binoculars with a light (a colposcope) is focused on the cervix. The doctor will look through colored lenses to see whether there are any abnormal cells on the cervix or vaginal walls.

A biopsy may be performed to remove tissue samples for examination in a laboratory. A DNA test may be ordered to see whether a high-risk form of HPV is present.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/07/2014.

References

  • Jin XW, Sikon A, Yen-Lieberman B. Cervical cancer screening: less testing, smarter testing. Cleve Clin J Med 2011; 78:737–747.
  • College of American Pathologists. Cervical Condition: Cervical Dysplasia Accessed 5/8/2014.
  • American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology Accessed 5/7/2014.
  • Luna J, Plata M, Gonzalez M, et al. Long-term follow-up observation of the safety, immunogenicity, and effectiveness of Gardasil™ in adult women. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(12):e83431
  • Saslow D, Solomon D, Lawson HW, et al. American Cancer Society, American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, and American Society for Clinical Pathology screening guidelines for the prevention and early detection of cervical cancer. CA Cancer J Clin. 2012;62(3):147-72

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