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Tumori. 1998 Sep-Oct;84(5):567-70.

High-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) in pregnancy: clinicotherapeutic management.

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Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic, University of Florence, Italy.


An increasing incidence of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) among young women has been noticed in recent years. For this reason pregnancy might represent a peculiar opportunity to undergo cytocolposcopic examination for those women who do not take part in a screening program for cervical carcinoma. Diagnosis of CIN during pregnancy poses the question of the management of this disease and particularly of whether it is better to treat the lesion or not during pregnancy. To contribute to the solution of this issue we initiated a study on the management of high-grade CIN in pregnancy.


Five hundred and seventy-one pregnant women underwent cytologic, colposcopic and, when necessary, histologic examination. Those in whom a CIN was discovered in the first four months of gestation underwent laser conization. When the diagnosis of CIN was made after the sixteenth week of gestation, cytocolposcopic monitoring was performed every eighth week during pregnancy and two months after childbirth. Laser conization was performed under colposcopic guidance in the outpatient setting in all cases. All treated patients were submitted to cytologic, colposcopic and, if necessary, histologic examination every third month in the first year after treatment, every sixth month in the second year and yearly from the third year onwards.


In 14 (2.4%) of the 571 examined women a CIN III was discovered, 6 of which associated with a human papilloma virus (HPV) infection. Of these, 8 patients, whose diagnosis was made within the sixteenth week of pregnancy, underwent laser conization. In one case a minor hemorrhage occurred during treatment. Two patients reported minor bleeding up to ten days after treatment. No major hemorrhages or cervical stenosis were observed. Histologic examination of the cones confirmed the preoperative diagnosis based on cervical biopsies and the lesion was entirely removed by conization in all cases. Seven of the 8 patients who underwent laser conization during pregnancy had a spontaneous delivery at term. The remaining patient, who had had a previous cesarean section, was again delivered by cesarean section. All treated patients were cured after the first-year follow-up visit. In 6 patients CIN was diagnosed after the sixteenth week of pregnancy. These women underwent cytocolposcopic examination every eighth week during pregnancy and two months after delivery, when the cervical changes associated with gestation had disappeared. Four of these patients showed persistence of CIN at postpartum follow-up and therefore underwent laser conization. In two patients spontaneous regression of the lesion was observed. In no case did progression to invasive carcinoma occur.


Given the increasing incidence of CIN in young women, the beginning of pregnancy may represent a peculiar opportunity for all pregnant women who do not take part in cervical screening programs to undergo a cytocolposcopic examination. In case of a diagnosis of high-grade CIN within the first 16 weeks of pregnancy, a conservative excisional treatment, which does not expose the pregnancy to any risk, should be carried out in order to confirm the intraepithelial localization of the lesion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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