Brief Report: Radiofrequency Ablation Therapy for Anal Intraepithelial Neoplasia Results From a Single-Center Prospective Pilot Study in HIV+ Participants

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Background:HIV-positive individuals have high incidence of anal high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) at the squamocolumnar junction (SCJ), which can progress to cancer. Focal radiofrequency ablation (RFA) treats HSIL, but metachronous recurrence remains high and may be improved with circumferential treatment.Setting:The study was performed at a single center.Methods:This was a prospective trial of circumferential anal RFA using Barrx 60 RFA focal catheters in participants with ≥1 anal SCJ HSIL. The entire SCJ was ablated by RFA. Adverse events (AEs), symptoms, including pain, and quality of life were assessed. High-resolution anoscopy assessed recurrences at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. Lesion site biopsies occurred at month 12. Recurrences were retreated with focal RFA.Results:Ten male participants (9 HIV+), with a median 2 HSILs (range 2–8) each, enrolled. Median T-cell count and viral load were 730 cells/mcL and 38 copies/mL. Median duration of RFA treatment was 6.5 (5–13) minutes. Lesion persistence occurred in 4 participants (3 at 3 months, 1 at 6 months). Recurrence at a new site occurred in 1 participant at 3 months. No lesion persisted after retreatment. All participants were HSIL free and completely healed by 12 months. Two device-related mild AEs occurred in 1 participant each (thrombosed external hemorrhoid and soft anal scar; both resolved). No serious AEs occurred.Conclusion:Circumferential anal SCJ RFA produced total HSIL eradication with no more than 2 treatments. Circumferential RFA seems to be well tolerated with minimal pain and no serious AEs in HIV+

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