Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the correlation between atypical squamous cells (ASC) and inflammatory infiltrate and vaginal microbiota using cervical liquid-based cytological (SurePath®) and high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) tests. Study Design: A cross-sectional study was conducted using a 6-year database from a laboratory in Fortaleza (Brazil). Files from 1,346 ASC cases were divided into subgroups and results concerning inflammation and vaginal microorganisms diagnosed by cytology were compared with HR-HPV test results. Results: An absence of specific microorganisms (ASM) was the most frequent finding (ASC of undetermined significance, ASC-US = 74%; ASC - cannot exclude high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion, ASC-H = 68%), followed by bacterial vaginosis (ASC-US = 20%; ASC- H = 25%) and Candida spp. (ASC-US = 6%; ASC-H = 5%). Leukocyte infiltrate was present in 71% of ASC-US and 85% of ASC-H (p = 0.0040), and in these specific cases HR-HPV tests were positive for 65 and 64%, respectively. A positive HR-HPV test was relatively more frequent when a specific microorganism was present, and Candida spp. was associated with HR-HPV-positive results (p = 0.0156), while an ASM was associated with negative HR-HPV results (p = 0.0370). Conclusion: ASC-US is associated with an absence of inflammation or vaginosis, while ASC-H smears are associated with Trichomonas vaginalis and inflammatory infiltrate. A positive HR-HPV is associated with Candida spp. in ASC cytology.

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