Objective: To compare cryotherapy, laser vaporization, and loop electrical excision for treatment of squamous intraepithelial lesions (SILs).
Methods: Women at least 18 years old with biopsy-proven SIL, negative pregnancy tests, negative findings on endocervical curettage, satisfactory colposcopy examinations, and congruent Papanicolaou smear and biopsy results were assigned randomly to treatment after stratification by SIL grade, endocervical gland involvement, and lesion size; they were evaluated 1, 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, and 24 months after treatment. Data were analyzed using chi2 statistics, logistic regression analysis, and the Cox proportional hazards model.
Results: Of 498 patients assigned, 108 were excluded (most because of inadequate follow-up), leaving 390 (139 cryotherapy, 121 laser vaporization, 130 loop excision) for analysis. All were followed 6-37 months (mean 16). There were no statistically significant differences in complications, persistence (disease present less than 6 months after treatment), or recurrence (disease present more than 6 months after treatment). Risk of persistent disease was higher among women with large lesions (risk ratio [RR], 18.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.2, 110.6). Recurrence risk was higher among women aged 30 years and older (RR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.2, 4.3), those with human papillomavirus type 16 or 18 (RR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.1, 4.0), and those who had had prior treatment (RR, 2.1; 95% CI, 1.1, 3.9).
Conclusion: The data support a high success rate with all three modalities. No significant difference in success rates was observed between the three treatments in our population. Additional attention and research should be directed toward the higher risk patients identified above.