• Can a more detailed evaluation of excision margins refine cytologic follow-up of women post-LLETZ for high-grade dysplasia?

      Treacy, Ann; Devaney, Deirdre; Mulligan, Niall J; Boyd, William; O'Keane, John Conor; Department of Histopathology, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Eccles Street, Dublin, Ireland. anntreacy@mac.com (2010-09)
      The relationship between dysplastic changes in the cervical epithelium and progression to in situ carcinoma and invasive carcinoma has been extensively studied. The removal of dysplastic epithelium through the long loop excision of the transformation zone (LLETZ) in 95% of the cases is curative. About 18% to 37% of LLETZ specimens with dysplasia at the margins have recurrent/residual disease. Earlier small studies suggest that the degree of dysplasia at the margins could predict for recurrence and allow a risk-based stratification of follow-up. We tested this hypothesis in a large group of women post-LLETZ for high-grade dysplasia with follow-up histology and cytology over a 12-year period. The cases were divided according to the excision margin status for dysplasia and if positive, low-grade or high-grade dysplasia. The groups were compared to assess whether the LLETZ specimens' margin status had an impact on the subsequent cytology or histology results. Positive follow-up results were defined as any grade of dysplasia in cytology or histology. Two thousand three hundred twenty-one women had LLETZs containing high-grade dysplasia over the 12-year period. One thousand five hundred thirty-four (66.1%) women had full histology and cytology follow-up available. Eight hundred twenty (53.4%) LLETZ specimens had positive margins and 714 (46.6%) had negative margins. The grade of dysplasia at the margins was available in 796 cases (97%) with 115 (15%) showing low-grade dysplasia and 680 (85%) high-grade dysplasia. One hundred seventy (20.7%) of the specimens with positive margins had positive follow-up results compared with 105 (14.7%) of the specimens with negative margins. The presence of dysplasia at an LLETZ margin is associated with dysplasia on follow-up cytology and histology (P=0.0021); however, the grade of dysplasia at the excision margin is not predictive of recurrent/residual dysplasia.