Objective: Rates higher than 50% of positive margin after surgical treatment of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) have been reported in HIV-infected women. We evaluated the efficacy of two excisional procedures, loop excision of the transformation zone (LLETZ) and electrosurgical conisation, in obtaining complete excision of CIN in HIV-infected patients.
Study design: Eighty HIV-infected women with CIN or suspicion of cervical cancer underwent 86 surgical excisions. The indication of surgical modalities depended on both the size and location of the lesion and on the length of the cervix. Univariate logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with positive surgical margins.
Results: Preoperative colposcopy failed to visualize the entire transformation zone in 39% of cases, and showed that 93% of the lesions had endocervical extension. LLETZ was performed in 30 cases and electrosurgical conisation in 56 cases. Resection was complete, with negative margins, in 77% of cases (95% confidence interval, CI: 62-92%) after LLETZ and in 71% of case (95% CI: 60-83%) after electrosurgical resection. Residual disease was mostly located in the endocervical portion of histological specimen. During follow-up late complications such as cervical stenosis or unsatisfactory colposcopy were not observed.
Conclusion: Endocervical extension of CIN being frequent among HIV-infected women, LLETZ should not be the preferred procedure. Appropriate surgical management leading in reducing the rate of positive margins may help decreasing the risk of persistence or recurrence of lesions.