Meta-analysis of the efficacy of cold coagulation as a treatment method for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia: a systematic review

BJOG. 2014 Jul;121(8):929-42. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.12655. Epub 2014 Mar 6.


Background: Cold coagulation is an ablative method for treatment of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). Despite reports of efficacy against all grades of CIN (CIN1-3), cold coagulation has been infrequently used since the 1980s, and was absent from the recent Cochrane review on CIN treatment.

Objectives: To provide a systematic review of cold coagulation efficacy and acceptability for CIN treatment through meta-analysis of clinical reports and a randomised control trial.

Search strategy: A literature search in PubMed, Web of Science, EMBASE, and regional databases yielded 388 papers. Title, abstract and/or reference list review identified 22 papers describing cold coagulation treatment of CIN, with 13 providing adequate data for inclusion in the meta-analysis.

Selection criteria: Publications or conference abstracts describing original data (number of women treated, followed up and cured, provider type, cure definition) were retained. No language or publication date limitations were imposed.

Data collection and analysis: Data extracted from 13 studies were pooled, and statistical analyses of proportion cured were conducted with data stratified by lesion grade and study region.

Main results: Among 4569 CIN patients treated with cold coagulation, summary proportion cured of 96% [95% confidence interval (CI) 92-99%] and 95% (92-98%) were obtained for CIN1 and CIN2-3 disease, respectively. Side-effects and adverse effects were infrequent, and fertility was not impaired.

Conclusions: Cold coagulation CIN cure rates were comparable to those of other excisional and ablative methods. Cold coagulation is indicated for all grades of CIN, is safe, quick and acceptable, and may be of particular relevance for use in resource-limited settings.

Keywords: Acceptability; cervical intraepithelial neoplasia; cold coagulation; efficacy; pooled analysis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cold Temperature*
  • Cryosurgery / methods*
  • Electrocoagulation / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / surgery*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / surgery*