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J Low Genit Tract Dis. 2009 Jul;13(3):165-8. doi: 10.1097/LGT.0b013e31818eddbc.

Cytological follow-up of women older than 50 years with high-grade cervical smear treated by large loop excision.

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  • 1Department of Gynaecological Oncology, St Mary's Hospital, Portsmouth, UK.



To evaluate cytological surveillance for women older than 50 years, to detect recurrent or residual disease after treatment of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia by loop excision.


Women undergoing a large loop excision for high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion or glandular cytological abnormalities during a period of 4 years (2000-2003) were identified from the colposcopy database. Women younger than 50 years or with a history of previous loop excision were excluded. Clinical data, histology, and follow-up cytology results for up to 2 years after treatment were collected.


Eighty-nine patients were identified. Age of the women ranged from 51 to 66 years, with a median of 51.5 years. Thirty-two (36%) had severe dyskaryosis, 53 (60%) had moderate dyskaryosis, and 4 (4%) had glandular abnormalities on cervical cytology before the loop biopsy. Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 2,3 and glandular abnormalities, CIN 1, and no abnormalities were found in 50 (56%), 18 (20%), and 19 (22%) loop specimens, respectively. Invasive disease was found in 2 (2%) cases. They were excluded from further analysis. The lesion was completely excised in 58 (65%) and incompletely excised in 23 (26%) patients. It was not possible to comment on the margin status in 8 (9%) cases. These were excluded from further analysis. Of the 23 women who had margins involved, 8 (35%) had ectocervical, 12 (52%) had endocervical, and 3 (13%) had both margins involved. All women had follow-up cervical smears at the cytology clinic. At 6-month follow-up, 3 patients had persistent CIN and 4 had borderline changes on cervical smears. At 2 years follow-up, 3 patients had high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion abnormalities, 2 of whom had clear margins at their loop biopsy earlier.Twenty percent of the women with positive endocervical margins on loop excision needed further treatment for residual or persistent disease on follow-up. Overall, 4 (5%) of the 79 patients who had a loop biopsy went on to have cytological abnormalities suggestive of persistent/residual disease needing further treatment.


Cytological surveillance for post-loop biopsy follow-up seems to be a good option for detecting residual disease in this high-risk group of patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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