Skip to content

Women's Health

Font Size

The Bethesda System (TBS) - Topic Overview

The Bethesda system (TBS) of classifying Pap tests was developed by the United States National Cancer Institute (NCI) to provide more detailed information about Pap test results. When lab specialists examine cervical cells, they use this system to report the lab results to doctors.

Your doctor receives the report from the lab. The report tells your doctor if the cell sample taken during the exam was good enough to be evaluated. It also lets your doctor know if the cells were normal or abnormal or if there was an infection present.

Recommended Related to Women

Her Midlife Miracle

By Jamie Diamond With A New Husband And Twin Babies On The Way, Marcia Cross Of Desperate Housewives Has Finally Found Happiness At 44. How She Did It. She doesn't cook, and she isn't well organized She laughs easily and likes hanging out in cargo pants. No one would describe her as high-strung. In fact, Marcia Cross is pretty much the antithesis of Bree Van De Kamp, the fierce, tightly wound perfectionist she plays so convincingly on Desperate Housewives . While Bree finds solace...

Read the Her Midlife Miracle article > >

If the cells were abnormal, they are put in categories, or typed, based on how severe the problem is:

  • Cells that show minor changes but the cause is unknown may be typed as ASC-US (atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance) or ASC-H (atypical squamous cells that cannot exclude high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion).
  • Cells that show definite minor changes but aren't likely to become cancer may be typed as LSIL (low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions).
  • Cell changes that are more severe and are more likely to become cancer may be typed as HSIL (high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions) or AGC (atypical glandular cells).

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    1
    Next Article:

    The Bethesda System (TBS) Topics

    Today on WebMD

    hands on abdomen
    Test your knowledge.
    womans hand on abdomen
    Are you ready for baby?
     
    birth control pills
    Learn about your options.
    insomnia
    Is it menopause or something else?
     
    woman in bathtub
    Slideshow
    Doctor discussing screening with patient
    VIDEO
     
    bp app on smartwatch and phone
    Slideshow
    iud
    Expert views
     

    Send yourself a link to download the app.

    Loading ...

    Please wait...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Blood pressure check
    Slideshow
    hot water bottle on stomach
    Quiz
     
    question
    Assessment
    Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror
    Quiz