The aim of the study was to assess whether direct colposcopic vision (DCV) of the cervix during large loop excision of the transformation zone (LLETZ) is associated with a decrease in the volume and dimensions of specimens or affects margin status at histology.
Materials and Methods
A prospective multicenter observational study of 216 women who underwent LLETZ for grades 2 and 3 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia was conducted. The volume and dimensions (circumference, length, and thickness) of the surgical specimens were measured before fixation. Data were compared according to the use of colposcopy during LLETZ. The following 3 groups were considered: LLETZ performed without colposcopy (n = 91), LLETZ performed immediately after colposcopy (n = 51), and LLETZ performed under DCV (n = 74).
Patient characteristics were comparable with regard to age, parity, history of excision, indication of the procedure, and the size of the cervix. We found a significant decrease in all dimensions of the specimens obtained under DCV (p < .001). Margin status was not affected. After adjusting for confounders, the mean volumes were significantly lower in the DCV group (adjusted mean difference = −0.66 mL; 95% CI = −1.17 to −0.14). The probability that negative margins would be achieved together with the attainment of a volume less than 5 mL and a thickness less than 10 mm was the highest in the DCV group (adjusted OR = 2.80; 95% CI = 1.13 to 6.90).
Direct colposcopic vision is associated with a significant decrease in the volume and in all dimensions of LLETZ specimens with no compromise in the margin status.