Objective: To evaluate risk factors for early cytologic abnormalities and recurrent cervical dysplasia after loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP).
Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed of all pathology records for LEEPs performed at our institution from January 1996 through July 1998. Follow-up cytology from 2 through 12 months after LEEP was reviewed. Patients with abnormal cytology were referred for further colposcopic evaluation. Statistical analysis using chi2 test for trend, proportional hazards model test, Fisher exact tests, and life table analysis were performed to identify risk factors for early cytologic abnormalities after LEEP and to determine relative risk of recurrent dysplasia.
Results: A total of 298 women underwent LEEP during the study period, and 29% of these had cytologic abnormalities after LEEP. Grade of dysplasia, ectocervical marginal status, endocervical marginal status, and glandular involvement with dysplasia were not found to be independent risk factors for early cytologic abnormalities. However, when risk factors were analyzed cumulatively, the abnormal cytology rate increased from 24% with no risk factors to 67% with three risk factors present (P =.037). Of patients with abnormal cytology after LEEP, 40% developed subsequent dysplasia, and the mean time to diagnosis was approximately 6 months. The relative risk of subsequent dysplasia ranged from a 20% increase to twice the risk if post-LEEP cytology was low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion or high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion, respectively.
Conclusion: Based on these results, consideration should be given for early colposcopic examination of patients who have evidence of marginal involvement or endocervical glandular involvement with dysplasia. These patients are at increased risk for abnormal cytology and recurrent dysplasia. This initial visit should occur at 6 months, as the mean time to recurrence of dysplasia was 6.5 months.