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Gynecol Oncol. 1997 Nov;67(2):162-5.

The clinical course of cervical carcinoma in situ diagnosed during pregnancy.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA.



The objective was to determine the frequency with which regression or progression of disease without treatment occurred in women diagnosed with squamous cell cervical carcinoma in situ (CIS) during pregnancy.


. A retrospective chart review of all women evaluated at the University of Iowa Colposcopy Clinic diagnosed with CIS during pregnancy from 1987 through 1992 was used. Thirty-four women were evaluated during pregnancy, of which 26 also had postpartum evaluation. All pathology reports of initial cytology and biopsies, as well as colposcopic impressions, were reviewed and compared to the same evaluations postpartum.


Of the 26 women evaluated both antepartum and postpartum, only 1 was treated (cone biopsy) during pregnancy. She had disease suspicious for microinvasion. She was disease free postpartum. Of the remaining 25, 20 (80%) had persistent disease, 2 (8%) had either missed disease or progressive disease postpartum, and 3 (12%) resolved without treatment at postpartum evaluation. No statistical significance was found between route of delivery and persistence (P = 0.34). No statistical significance was found between smoking and persistence of disease (P = 1.0). In 46% of women the initial cytology was CIN I or II, and the initial colposcopic impression was found to underestimate the severity of the disease in 35% of cases. Two women were found to have invasive disease postpartum.


There is a high persistence rate of CIS complicating pregnancy. Given the relatively high rate of underestimation of disease severity by both cytology and colposcopic impression, the use of routine biopsy at the time of colposcopy is recommended. Invasive disease may be encountered on postpartum evaluation.

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