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Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1986 Aug;93(8):843-51.

Evaluation of colposcopy in the postmenopausal woman.


Cytology, colposcopy and histology findings in 121 postmenopausal and 120 premenopausal women referred to the Oxford colposcopy clinic were compared; 88% of postmenopausal and 69% of premenopausal women were referred by their general practitioners. Cervical smear reports, within the preceding 5 years, were available for 21% of the postmenopausal and 54% of the premenopausal women. Colposcopic assessment was technically unsatisfactory in 53% of the postmenopausal women because the transformation zone was not completely visible, this contributed to a cone biopsy rate of 71% in this group. Only 17% of postmenopausal women with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) were managed with local ablative techniques compared with their use in 61% premenopausal patients overall and in over 70% of the women under 35 years. Local ablation was used in 10 of 14 women using hormone replacement therapy. The cytological false negative rate for postmenopausal Papanicolaou class III, IV and V smears was 9% but for persistent class II inflammatory smears it was 43%. Nine of 23 postmenopausal women with persistent inflammatory dyskariosis despite antibiotic or antifungal treatment were found to have colposcopic appearances of CIN and four had microinvasion or invasion. Colposcopy revealed probable microinvasive or invasive disease in 17 postmenopausal women, seven of whom had class II or III cytology.

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