Australian Cervical Screening Program guidelines no longer recommend colposcopy and cytology at six months following treatment of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN2/3) and a co‐test of cure can be performed at 12 months without colposcopy.
To determine the usefulness of six‐month colposcopy and cytology and routine colposcopy with co‐testing at 12 months in detecting persistent or recurrent disease in patients treated for CIN2/3.
Materials and Methods
We conducted a review of all patients with histologically proven CIN2/3 who underwent a cervical excisional procedure between March 2012 and March 2017 in one specialised centre.
We examined 1215 cases and 750 remained after exclusions for analysis. At six months (722 cases, 96.2%) seven of 42 (16.7%) patients with high‐grade cytology had a high‐grade colposcopy and 24 of 42 (57.1%) had a normal colposcopy. Persistent CIN2/3 was diagnosed in 12 cases (1.7%) and only 1/3 had a high‐grade colposcopy. Cytology was more useful than colposcopy in detecting persistent disease. At 12 months (638 cases, 85%) routine colposcopy at the time of co‐testing had a high false positive rate with all high‐grade changes negative on biopsy and co‐test. Recurrent CIN2/3 was diagnosed in five cases, and four had normal colposcopy at co‐testing.
There may be a delay in detection of persistent/recurrent CIN2/3 in a small number of cases without six‐month colposcopy and cytology; however, it is not likely to negatively impact overall clinical outcome. Co‐testing at 12 months following treatment of CIN2/3 without colposcopy is safe and routine colposcopy at collection of the co‐test can be omitted.