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Risk Factors of Inadequate Colposcopy After Large Loop Excision of the Transformation Zone: A Prospective Cohort Study

Xavier Carcopino 1, 2 Julien Mancini 3, 4 Jean Gondry 5 Julien Chevreau 5 Gery Lamblin 6 Anthony Atallah 6 Vincent Lavoué 7 Claire Caradec 7 Jean Baldauf 8 Angélique Bryand 8 Sébastien Henno 9 Aubert Agostini 10 Serge Douvier 11 Adelaïde Jarniat 12 Didier Riethmuller 13 Anne Mendel 13 Jean Brun 14 Hajanirina Rakotomahenina 14 Lise Preaubert 15
Abstract : Objective: The aim of the study was to identify the risk factors of post-large loop excision of the transformation zone (LLETZ) inadequate colposcopy. Materials and Methods: From December 2013 to July 2014, a total of 157 patients who had a LLETZ performed for the treatment of high-grade intraepithelial lesion with fully visible cervical squamocolumnar junction were included. All procedures were performed using semicircular loops. The use of colposcopy made during each procedure was systematically documented. Dimensions and volume of LLETZ specimens were measured at the time of procedure, before formaldehyde fixation. All participants were invited for a follow-up colposcopy 3 to 6 months after LLETZ. Primary end point was the diagnosis of post-LLETZ inadequate colposcopy, defined by a not fully visible cervical squamocolumnar junction and/or cervical stenosis. Results: Colposcopies were performed in a mean (SD) delay of 136 (88) days and were inadequate in 22 (14%) cases. Factors found to significantly increase the probability of post-LLETZ inadequate colposcopy were a history of previous excisional cervical therapy [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 4.29, 95% CI = 1.12-16.37, p = .033] and the thickness of the specimen (aOR = 3.12, 95% CI = 1.02-9.60, p = .047). The use of colpos-copy for the guidance of LLETZ was statistically associated with a decrease in the risk of post-LLETZ inadequate colposcopy (aOR = 0.19, 95% CI = 0.04-0.80, p = .024) as the achievement of negative endocervical margins (aOR = 0.26, 95% CI = 0.08-0.86, p = .027). Conclusions: Although the risk of post-LLETZ inadequate colpos-copy is increased in patients with history of excisional therapy and with the thickness of the excised specimen, it could be reduced with the use of colposcopic guidance and the achievement of negative endocervical margins. L arge loop excision of the transformation zone (LLETZ) is a routine procedure worldwide, because it is the first-line treatment of high-grade intraepithelial lesion (HSIL) of the cervix. Quality criteria for optimal LLETZ include the completeness of excision with the achievement of negative margins, while producing the minimal excised volume and depth of excision to minimize subsequent obstetrical and neonatal morbidity. 1,2 Obtaining negative margins is important, because incomplete excision exposes women to a significant risk of posttreatment residual and/or recurrent disease, particularly when the lesion involves the endo-cervical canal. 3,4 However, this risk remains higher to the general female population, even when negative margins are achieved. Women who had had a LLETZ remain therefore exposed to a 3-to 4-fold increased risk of developing subsequent cervical cancer at least for 20 years. 5-8 Thus, prolonged and careful post-LLETZ follow-up is mandatory, whatsoever the margins status. For the last decade, the value of human papillomavirus testing has been demonstrated in this indication. Although a negative human papillomavirus test has now been admitted as the best test of cure for patients, colposcopy remains needed when this test is found to be positive. 9-12 Although being the key examination in this indication, the accuracy of colposcopy performed after previous excisional therapy of HSIL is however questionable because the healing process might result in changes in the appearance of the transformation zone (TZ). However, the main limitation of post-LLETZ colposcopic examination is the possibility of inadequate colposcopy due to the inability to visualize the entire TZ. Known risk factors for inadequate colposcopy include age, severity of lesion, and estrogen status of the patient. 13 However, inadequate colposcopy is also one of the main adverse effects of excisional therapies of the cervix, including LLETZ. 13 However, data on the precise risk factors for inadequate colposcopy after LLETZ are limited because most studies have focused on the sole risk of cervical stenosis without considering the position and visibility of the squamocolumnar junction. 14-17 This point is however crucial because it is clinically essential to identify how post-LLETZ inadequate colposcopy could be avoided, thus preserving the possibility for the follow-up of these women.
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Xavier Carcopino, Julien Mancini, Jean Gondry, Julien Chevreau, Gery Lamblin, et al.. Risk Factors of Inadequate Colposcopy After Large Loop Excision of the Transformation Zone: A Prospective Cohort Study. Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease, Wiley-Blackwell: No OnlineOpen, 2018, 22 (1), pp.31-37. ⟨10.1097/LGT.0000000000000357⟩. ⟨hal-02058148⟩

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