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Gynecol Oncol. 1999 Jun;73(3):348-53.

Adenocarcinoma in situ of the cervix: management and outcome.

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  • 1Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8063, USA.



The aim of this study was to review the management and outcome of patients with adenocarcinoma in situ of the cervix and to evaluate the significance of endocervical cone margin status in these patients.


A retrospective review of records between January 1988 and December 1996 identified 40 patients with adenocarcinoma in situ on cone biopsy for whom complete information was available. The median follow-up was 38 months.


The mean age was 37 years, and the mean parity was 1.3. Fifty-three percent of the patients had prior abnormal cervical cytology. The initial Pap smear that led to the patient's referral was abnormal in 39 (98%). Initial cervical biopsies showed adenocarcinoma in situ and/or glandular dysplasia in 28 (70%), squamous dysplasia in 2 (5%), chronic inflammation in 2 (5%), and no pathologic changes in 2 (5%) patients. Initially no biopsies were performed in 3 (7.5%) patients and the results of 3 (7.5%) biopsies were unknown. Subsequently, all patients had cone biopsies. The endocervical margins were positive for glandular abnormalities in 24% of cold knife cones (CKC), 75% of LEEPs, and 57% of laser cones. The ectocervical margins were positive for squamous and/or glandular abnormalities in 8% of CKCs, 13% of LEEPs, and 57% of laser cones. ECCs above the cone were obtained in 28 patients, and only 1 (3%) was positive. The definitive treatment was hysterectomy in 27, repeat cone in 5, and no additional therapy in 8 patients. The pathology showed residual disease in 44% of treated patients. From 16 cone biopsies with negative margins who had subsequent treatment, there was residual disease in 5 (31%) specimens (1 adenocarcinoma in situ, 1 mild glandular dysplasia, 3 glandular atypia). From 16 cones with positive margins who had subsequent treatment, there was residual disease in 9 (56%) specimens. The patients with negative ECCs above the cone regardless of margin status had residual disease in 58% of treated specimens.


Women with adenocarcinoma in situ of the uterine cervix had residual disease in 31% of cases with negative margins in cone biopsies and/or with negative ECCs and in 56% of cases with positive endocervical margins. LEEP cones had higher rate of positive endocervical margins (75%) compared to CKC (24%) and laser cone (57%). If maintaining reproductive capacity is desired, we would recommend CKC; however, this does not guarantee absence of the disease.

Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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