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Gynecol Oncol. 2006 Nov;103(2):631-6. Epub 2006 Jun 14.

Pre- and post-conization high-risk HPV testing predicts residual/recurrent disease in patients treated for CIN 2-3.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, IDIBAPS-Hospital Clínic, University of Barcelona School of Medicine, Barcelona, Spain.



To evaluate whether high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) detection and viral load prior to treatment and status of cone margins can predict residual/recurrent disease as well as the ability of current diagnostic tools to identify residual/recurrent disease during follow-up of high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) treated by conization using loop electrosurgical procedure (LEEP).


Two hundred and three women (mean age 38.6 +/- 9.7; range 22-83) with CIN2-3 treated by LEEP conization and confirmed in the surgical specimen, attending follow-up visits were included. Age, HR-HPV detection and viral load determined by HybridCapture 2, and cone margins were evaluated as possible predictors of residual/recurrent disease. Value of single and repeated cytology as well as HR-HPV detection and viral load during follow-up were analyzed as screening tools of recurrence.


Residual/recurrent disease was demonstrated by colposcopy guided biopsy in 36 patients (17.7%). High HR-HPV load (>1000 RLU) prior to LEEP and positive cone margins were significantly associated with higher risk of recurrence (31.8% vs. 9.4%, P = 0.005; and 36.4% vs. 11.9%, P < 0.001 respectively). HR-HPV detection at 6-12 m after LEEP showed higher sensitivity than a single or repeated cytology (97.2% vs. 83.3% and 94.4% respectively) although it showed less specificity (81.4% vs. 92.2% and 82.6%). The combination of HR-HPV detection and the first cytology during follow-up detected all patients with residual/recurrent disease (sensitivity 100%, negative predictive value 100%) with an acceptable specificity (76.6%).


The inclusion of HR-HPV testing with cytology in follow-up of patients treated for CIN2-3 would allow for fewer post-treatment visits and avoid unnecessary cytologies. High HR-HPV load prior to LEEP or positive margins should be considered as risk factors for developing residual/recurrent disease.

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