LLETZ is an acceptable alternative to diagnostic cold-knife conization

Gynecol Oncol. 1994 Nov;55(2):224-8. doi: 10.1006/gyno.1994.1281.


Large loop excision of the transformation zone (LLETZ) provides a pathologic specimen similar to a cold-knife cone (CKC) biopsy of the cervix. One hundred twenty women with indications for a cone biopsy were evaluated with LLETZ to determine if this procedure is an acceptable alternative to traditional cold-knife conization of the cervix. All patients had LLETZ performed in the clinic under local anesthesia. An average of 2.1 slices was required to remove the transformation zone. Coagulation artifact interfered with histologic diagnosis in only 1.8% of specimens. The number of slices taken during the LLETZ procedure significantly correlated with the amount of heat artifact in the pathology specimen (P = 0.02) and interfered with the ability of the pathologist to determine complete excision of dysplasia (P = 0.03). LLETZ is an acceptable alternative to diagnostic CKC and can offer a substantial cost savings. To facilitate histopathologic interpretation, every effort should be made to minimize the number of slices and to maintain orientation of the LLETZ specimen. Endocervical curettage performed after LLETZ can identify a group of patients who are at high risk for CIN recurrence.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biopsy / instrumentation
  • Biopsy / methods*
  • Biopsy / standards
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / pathology
  • Cervix Uteri / pathology
  • Electrosurgery / instrumentation
  • Electrosurgery / methods*
  • Electrosurgery / standards
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged