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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Minerva Ginecologica 2011 October;63(5):465-70

language: Italian

Tamoxifen, endometrial cancer risk and liquid based cytology. A paradigmatic case report

Fambrini M. 1, Buccoliero A. M. 2, Pieralli A. 1, Andersson K. L. 1, Mattei A. 1, Scarselli G. 1, Taddei G. 2, Marchionni M. 1

1 Dipartimento di Scienze per la Salute della Donna e del Bambino, Sezione di Ginecologia ed Ostetricia, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Firenze, Italia;
2 Dipartimento di Patologia Umana e Oncologia, Università degli Studi di Firenze, Firenze, Italia


Long-term users of tamoxifen (TMX) are at increased risk for developing endometrial cancer. Early diagnosis is mainly based on transvaginal scan (TVS) and hysteroscopy with endometrial biopsy. Nevertheless, TVS does not provide a definitive diagnosis in most cases, particularly due to its high false-positive rate. In addition TMX related changes, such as “pseudocistic” pattern, affect endoscopic evaluation of the endometrium and biopsy sampling (in particular blind procedures) frequently yields insufficient tissue for diagnosis. The cause of the high inadequacy rate of endometrial biopsies in women on TMX might be related to the increase in endometrial fibrous component. The present case emphasizes the main difficulties in surveillance and early diagnosis of endometrial pathologies in TMX users. Liquid-based endometrial cytology played a determinant role in the diagnostic pathway of this patient. We believe it could be used solely or in association with TVS leading to many advantages in the surveillance of women receiving TMX.

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