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Sexually Transmitted Diseases:
doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0b013e31828bfcb1
Original Study

Prevalence and Treatment Outcome of Cervicitis of Unknown Etiology

Taylor, Stephanie N. MD*; Lensing, Shelly MS; Schwebke, Jane MD; Lillis, Rebecca MD*; Mena, Leandro A. MD, MPH§; Nelson, Anita L. MD; Rinaldi, Anne BA; Saylor, Lisa BA; McNeil, Linda MA; Lee, Jeannette Y. PhD

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Abstract

Background

Mucopurulent cervicitis (MPC) is a clinical syndrome characterized by mucopurulent discharge from the cervix and other signs of inflammation. This was a phase III, multicenter study designed to evaluate the effectiveness of placebo versus empiric antibiotic treatment for clinical cure of MPC of unknown etiology at 2-month follow-up. Unfortunately, enrollment was terminated because of low accrual of women with cervicitis of unknown etiology, but important prevalence and outcome data were obtained.

Methods

Five hundred seventy-seven women were screened for MPC. Women with MPC were randomized to the treatment or placebo arm of the study, and the 2 arms were evaluated based on the etiology, clinical cure rates, adverse events (AEs), and rates of pelvic inflammatory disease.

Results

One hundred thirty-one (23% [131/577]) screened women were found to have MPC. Eighty-seven were enrolled and randomized. After excluding women with sexually transmitted infections and other exclusions, 61% (53/87) had cervicitis of unknown etiology. The overall clinical failure rate was 30% (10/33), and the clinical cure rate was only 24% (8/33). Rates were not significantly different between the arms. There were 24 gastrointestinal AEs in the treatment arm compared with 1 AE in the placebo arm.

Conclusions

More than half of the cases of MPC were of unknown etiology. Clinical cure rates for the placebo and treatment arms were extremely low, with most women concluding the study with a partial response. Gastrointestinal AEs were higher in the treatment arm.

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