Send to

Choose Destination
Obstet Gynecol. 1998 Jul;92(1):124-30.

Cytology and colposcopy after loop electrosurgical excision: implications for follow-up.

Author information

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology 1, Hautepierre University Hospital, Strasbourg, France.



To analyze risk factors associated with residual and recurrent lesions after loop electrosurgical excision procedure and to assess the reliability of cytology and colposcopy in detection of these lesions.


Cytology and colposcopy were used to follow up 288 women after treatment by loop electrosurgical excision 3-6 months, 9-15 months, and 24-36 months after the procedure.


The mean (+/-standard deviation) postoperative follow-up was 39+/-13 months (range 24-68 months). Treatment failure, defined as the persistence or recurrence of a cervical lesion, was observed in 20 patients (6.9%). The endocervical localization of the initial lesion (adjusted relative risk [RR] 13.7; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.3, 150.1; P < .05) and incomplete excision (adjusted RR 9.1; 95% CI 3.0, 27.3; P < .001) were the only independent risk factors for treatment failure. In six cases, a second treatment was performed before the first cytologic and colposcopic visit because of incomplete excisions. The remaining 14 treatment failures were diagnosed by postoperative cytology and colposcopy, ten after the first visit, three after the second, and one after the third. To diagnose the treatment failures, colposcopy and cytology provided complementary information at the first (P < .001) and second postoperative visits (P < .05). Although the sensitivity of cytology was not significantly improved by the association of both methods, the latter decreased the number of residual lesions overlooked by cytology alone and contributed to the diagnosis of 95% of treatment failures in less than 2 years.


The high detection rate obtained by combining cytology and colposcopy during the first 2 postoperative years may allow more leisurely follow-up schedules after that time and may reduce the consequences of subsequent loss to follow-up.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center