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A Prospective Evaluation of "See and Treat" in Women with HSIL Pap Smear Results: Is This an Appropriate Strategy?

Numnum, T. Michael MD; Kirby, Tyler O. MD; Leath, Charles A. III MD; Huh, Warner K. MD; Alvarez, Ronald D. MD; Straughn, J. Michael Jr. MD

Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease: January 2005 - Volume 9 - Issue 1 - p 2-6
Original Articles

Objective. The evaluation of abnormal cervical cytologic results is time consuming and costly. Most patients with high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL)-cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 3 (CIN 3) Pap smear results require an excisional procedure for diagnostic or therapeutic reasons. "See and treat" is a surgical procedure that involves a loop electrosurgical excisional procedure (LEEP) simultaneously to diagnose and to treat premalignant cervical disease in one visit. This procedure eliminates a second visit that typically is required for treatment. Data is lacking on the incidence of CIN 2 and CIN 3 in patients with an HSIL (CIN 2) Pap smear result. The objective of this study was to determine the incidence of CIN 2 and CIN 3 in patients with an HSIL (CIN 2) Pap smear using a see-and-treat protocol.

Methods. Women referred from local health departments to our university-based colposcopy clinic for evaluation of an HSIL (CIN 2) Pap smear result were evaluated for inclusion in a see and treat protocol. All eligible patients underwent colposcopy to rule out an obvious cervical carcinoma followed by an immediate LEEP to remove the transformation zone. A colposcopic impression was made using the Reid colposcopic index. Pathologic specimens were analyzed for the presence of CIN and the incidence of CIN 2 and CIN 3 was determined.

Results. To date, 51 patients have been enrolled in the study. Exclusion criteria included age less than 19 years, pregnancy, or medical contraindications. The mean age of the patients was 26 years (range, 19-45 years). Forty-seven percent were white, 47% were black, and 6% were Hispanic. Of the 51 patients who underwent LEEP, 43 of 51 (85%) had satisfactory colposcopy and no patient had a lesion suspicious for cervical carcinoma. The average Reid colposcopic index was 3.5. Of the 51 LEEP specimens, 4 of 51 had no evidence of CIN (8%), 4 of 51 (8%) had CIN 1, 18 of 51 (35%) had CIN 2, and 25 of 51 (49%) had CIN 3. Eighty-four percent of patients had either CIN 2 or CIN 3, resulting in an overtreatment rate (CIN 1 or less) of 16%.

Conclusions. The use of a see and treat protocol for patients with HSIL (CIN 2) Pap smear results may be an acceptable treatment option because of a high incidence of CIN 2 and CIN 3.

The use of "see and treat" is an effective management option in patients with HSIL Pap smears.

Department of Obstetrics and gynecology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL

Reprint requests to: T. Michael Numnum, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 619 19th Street South, Old Hillman Building, Room 340, Birmingham, AL 35294-7333.

©2005The American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology