Objective: We aimed to assess potential associations between atypical squamous cell (ASC) subgroups: ASC-US (undetermined significance) and ASC-H (cannot exclude high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion), regarding cytomorphological features, high-risk (HR) human papillomavirus (HPV) testing, and histological outcomes in a sample of Brazilian women. Study Design: Cross-sectional study which evaluated 1,346 liquid-based cytologies between January 2010 and July 2016 with ASC results. ASC-US and ASC-H were analyzed for frequency, diagnostic criteria, and cytological findings and compared with HR-HPV tests and histological outcomes. Results: Enlarged nucleus was the most frequent ASC-US criterion, but alternative criteria were present in 20% of the total cases. No ASC-US criteria were associated with histological outcomes or HR-HPV positivity. Parakeratosis, corneal pearl, giant cells, and binucleation were strongly associated with ASC-US while hyperkeratosis was associated with high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) or a superior outcome. HR-HPV was positive in 64.39% of ASC-US and 65.38% of ASC-H. HSIL or superior outcomes also occurred in 13.33% of ASC-US and 64.71% of ASC-H cases. Conclusion: Alternative criteria for ASC-US were relatively frequent. Reactive cellular changes suggestive of atypias were more abundant in ASC-US. Although ASC-H is associated with worse histological outcomes, no differences in HPV positivity were found in comparison to ASC-US.

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