Cytological surveillance compared with immediate referral for colposcopy in management of women with low grade cervical abnormalities: multicentre randomised controlled trialTOMBOLA GroupBr Med J2009339b2546

BMJ (online) (Impact Factor: 17.45). 07/2009; 339. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.b2546


Objectives To examine the effectiveness of cytological surveillance in primary care compared with immediate referral for colposcopic examination in women with low grade abnormal results on cervical cytology tests. Design Multicentre individually randomised controlled trial. Setting NHS cervical screening programmes in Grampian, Tayside, and Nottingham. Participants 4439 women, aged 20-59, with a cytology result showing borderline nuclear abnormalities or mild dyskaryosis, October 1999-October 2002. Interventions Cytological screening every six months in primary care (n=2223) or referral for colposcopy and related interventions (n=2216). All women were followed for three years, concluding with an exit appointment at which colposcopic examination was undertaken. Colposcopists assessing outcome at this appointment were blinded to randomisation. Main outcome measures Primary end point: cumulative incidence of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade II or more severe disease. Other end points: cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade III or worse, clinically significant anxiety and depression, other self reported after effects, and rates of non-attendance. Analysis was by intention to treat; all those randomised were included. Results The cumulative incidence of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade II or worse was 79 per 1000 person years in the colposcopy arm and 58 per 1000 person years in the cytological surveillance arm (relative risk 1.37, 95% confidence interval 1.19 to 1.57). This difference was less marked for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade III or more severe disease, but the incidence was still higher in the colposcopy arm (relative risk 1.26, 1.04 to 1.53). Among women randomised to immediate colposcopy, 79% (74.9% to 82.5%) of cases of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade II or worse were diagnosed at the time of the immediate colposcopy, while among women randomised to cytological surveillance, 77% (72.1% to 81.2%) of cases were detected by surveillance cytology and related interventions. Similar proportions of women were anxious or depressed in the two arms. A higher proportion of women in the colposcopy arm reported after effects, and these were of longer duration and more severe. Non-attendance was low in both arms. Conclusion The more marked difference between the arms in the occurrence of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade II or worse than in the occurrence of grade III or worse can probably be accounted for by the spontaneous regression of some cases of grade II neoplasia. Compared with cytological surveillance, a policy of immediate colposcopy detects more cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade II or worse, and some more grade III or worse, but might lead to overtreatment. Such a policy is associated with a higher rate of reported after effects, which are more severe and of longer duration than those associated with cytological surveillance.

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    ABSTRACT: To assess the value of a single human papillomavirus (HPV) test in making decisions on management of women with cervical cytology showing borderline nuclear abnormality (BNA) or mild dyskaryosis. In particular, to determine whether information on high-risk (hr) HPV status would be valuable in the choice between (1) cytological surveillance versus immediate referral to colposcopy, and (2) at colposcopy, between biopsy and recall versus immediate large loop excision of the transformation zone (LLETZ). Multicentre individually randomised controlled trial, nested within the NHS Cervical Screening Programmes, investigating the value of HPV testing by testing for interactions between HPV status and (1) cytological surveillance versus colposcopy, and (2) biopsy and recall versus immediate LLETZ. Setting Grampian, Tayside and Nottingham. Population Women (n = 4439), aged 20-59 years, with a cytology test showing borderline nuclear abnormalities or mild dyskaryosis during October 1999 to October 2002. High-risk HPV status was determined at recruitment using the polymerase chain reaction assay with the GP5+/6+ general primer system. The results of this HPV testing were not disclosed to either the participating women or to those involved in their management. Women were randomised to either (1) 6-monthly cytological screening in primary care or (2) referral for colposcopy. Human papillomavirus status was used to stratify both randomisations. All women were followed for 3 years, concluding with an invitation to an exit appointment at which colposcopic examination was undertaken. In addition, in women who were randomised to initial colposcopy and underwent colposcopy, the association between hrHPV status and presence of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) grade 2 or more severe disease (henceforth CIN2 or worse) was examined. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of the HPV test for predicting CIN2 or worse and the implications for the choice of management between cytological surveillance and immediate referral for colposcopy. There were no significant interactions between management and HPV status. Hence, in women with mild dyskaryosis or BNA who are HPV positive, there is no advantage of (1) immediate colposcopy over cytological surveillance (P = 0.76) or (2) immediate LLETZ over biopsy and recall (P = 0.27). The sensitivity of HPV testing for detection of CIN2 or worse was 75.2% (95% CI 68.8-81.0%) among women with mild dyskaryosis and 69.9% (95% CI 61.7-77.3%) among those with BNA. Specificity was higher in those with BNA (71.3%; 95% CI 68.5-74.1%) than in those with mild dyskaryosis (46.9%; 95% CI 42.2-51.6%). Sensitivity decreased with increasing age whereas specificity increased. The negative predictive value was high, particularly among women with BNA (94.5%; 95% CI 92.9-96.0%). Across all ages, 22% of women who had CIN2 or worse were HPV negative. Conversely, 40% of those who were HPV positive did not have CIN. HPV was a much more reliable predictor in women aged over 40 years. We conclude that in younger women with low-grade cytological abnormalities, a single HPV test would not be useful in determining who should be referred for colposcopy or the most effective management at colposcopy. In women over 40, a negative HPV test could be used to rule out further investigation.
    BJOG An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology 05/2010; 117(6):645-59. DOI:10.1111/j.1471-0528.2010.02519.x · 3.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Please cite this paper as: Arbyn M, Martin-Hirsch P, Wentzensen N. HPV-based triage of women showing a cervical cytology result of borderline or mild dyskaryosis. BJOG 2010; DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.2010.02521.x.
    BJOG An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology 05/2010; 117(6):641-644. DOI:10.1111/j.1471-0528.2010.02521.x · 3.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cytology remains the mainstay for cervical screening. The need to achieve effective management, limit complications, and preserve reproductive function led to the popularity of local treatment. Although the cure rates for ablative and excisional methods are similar, the excisional method provides a more reliable histopathological diagnosis. Recent evidence revealed increased perinatal morbidity after treatment that appears to be related to the proportion of cervix removed. The human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA test appears to enhance the detection of disease in primary screening, in the triage of minor cytological abnormalities, and in follow-up. Further research on the clinical application of a scoring system is ongoing. The vaccines are now available and appear to be safe, well tolerated, and highly efficacious in HPV naive women. A synergy of vaccination and screening will be required. Treatment for early cervical cancer is increasingly shifting toward more fertility-sparing surgical techniques. Careful selection of patients is essential.
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 09/2010; 1205(1):57-68. DOI:10.1111/j.1749-6632.2010.05676.x · 4.38 Impact Factor
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