Histopathological Variables Predicting High-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions After Large-Loop Excision of the Transformation Zone

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Our aim was to determine whether histopathological variables predict persistent high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HGSIL) after large-loop excision of the transformation zone (LLETZ).

Materials and Methods

All patients with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) grade 2 or 3 on a LLETZ specimen with at least one follow-up Papanicolaou (Pap) test were identified. Histopathological variables were evaluated for the potential to predict HGSIL on a follow-up Pap test. Variables examined included endocervical margin status, ectocervical margin status, endocervical curettage (ECC) result, presence or absence of endocervical glandular involvement, and presence or absence of koilocytosis.


Two hundred and nineteen cases were identified. A follow-up Pap test showed HGSIL in 16 patients (7.3%). Of the histopathological variables studied, only a positive ECC at the time of LLETZ conization predicted HGSIL on follow-up cytology (p =.0002). Endocervical margin status, ectocervical margin status, presence or absence of glandular involvement, and presence or absence of koilocytosis were not associated significantly with HGSIL at follow-up. Conclusion: Most histopathological factors from LLETZ conization do not predict reliably the presence of HGSIL at the time of follow-up Pap test. A positive ECC at the time of LLETZ, however, may predict those patients destined to have persistence or recurrence. These findings suggest that conservative follow-up is warranted after LLETZ conization.

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