Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 (CIN2) frequently regresses, is typically slow-growing, and rarely progresses to cancer. Some women forgo immediate treatment, opting for conservative management (heightened surveillance with cytology and colposcopy), to minimize overtreatment and increased risk of obstetric complications; however, there are limited data examining clinical outcomes in these women. We performed a retrospective cohort analysis of younger women diagnosed with initially untreated CIN1/2, CIN2 and CIN2/3 lesions at Kaiser Permanente Northern California between 2003 and 2015. Clinical outcomes were categorized into five mutually exclusive hierarchical groups: cancer, treated, returned to routine screening, persistent high-grade lesion, or persistent low-grade lesion. Median follow-up for the 2,417 women was 48 months. Six women were diagnosed with cancer (0.2%), all with history of high-grade cytology, and none after a negative cotest. Thirty percent of women were treated, and only 20% returned to routine screening; 50% remained in continued intensive follow-up, of which 86% had either low-grade cytology/histology or high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) positivity, but not necessarily persistence of a single HPV type. No cancers were detected after a single negative cotest in follow-up. Almost half of initially untreated women did not undergo treatment, but remained by protocol in colposcopy clinic for 2 or more years in the absence of persisting CIN2 Their incomplete return to total negativity was possibly due to sequential new and unrelated low-grade abnormalities. The prolonged colposcopic surveillance currently required to return to routine screening in the absence of persisting CIN2 might not be necessary after a negative cotest. Significance: Many younger women under conservative management following an initial CIN2 result remain in a clinical protocol of prolonged intensified surveillance without a subsequent diagnosis of CIN2 or more severe diagnoses. More research is needed to determine whether such prolonged management might be unnecessary following a negative cotest for those women with an initial CIN2 but otherwise only low-grade findings.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research