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Primary care endometrial sampling for abnormal uterine bleeding: a pilot study
  1. Jon M Dickson1,
  2. Brigitte Delaney1,
  3. Mary E Connor2
  1. 1 The University of Sheffield, The Academic Unit of Primary Medical Care, Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, UK
  2. 2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jon M Dickson, The Academic Unit of Primary Medical Care, The University of Sheffield, Samuel Fox House, Northern General Hospital, Herries Road, Sheffield S5 7AU, UK; j.m.dickson{at}


Aim To design and evaluate a pilot service for primary care endometrial sampling (PCES).

Design Retrospective analysis of data from two service evaluations.

Setting General practices and the gynaecology department in a large city in the UK.

Methods These were two-fold: (1) To design the new service we identified all the endometrial samples taken in the city’s gynaecology department in 2012/2013 and estimated the proportion of these with abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) that would be suitable for PCES. (2) To evaluate the new PCES service we analysed data from the first year of activity.

Results (1) A total of 1894 endometrial samples were taken in hospital in 2012/2013. An estimated 424 (22.4%) of these were from patients with AUB who fitted the criteria for PCES. (2) In the first year of the PCES service 108 samples were taken by general practitioners (GPs). Initial management of these patients was exclusively in primary care in 97.2% (104/108) of cases; most patients were treated with the Mirena intrauterine system (79/109; 73.1%) and there were no cases of hyperplasia or cancer.

Conclusions Most premenopausal patients with AUB could potentially be managed in primary care without referral to hospital if endometrial sampling (ES) was made available to appropriately trained and supported GPs. However, this study was limited by its retrospective, non-interventional design, and more research is required to demonstrate safety and cost-effectiveness.

  • Education And Training
  • General Practice
  • Health Economics
  • Service Delivery
  • Perimenopause
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  • Contributors JMD suggested undertaking the service evaluation, took overall responsibility for the planning, conduct and reporting of the work and is guarantor for the study. MC was involved in data collection, provided gynaecological expertise, was involved in preparation of the manuscript throughout and approved the final version. BD analysed the data, was involved in preparation of the manuscript throughout and approved the final version.

  • Competing interests MC reports personal fees from Bayer Medical and Smith & Nephew outside the submitted work.JMD and BC have declared no competing interests.

  • Ethics approval Ethics Committee of the University of Sheffield.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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