n South African Medical Journal - Cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia in HIV-positive women after excision of the transformation zone - does the grade change? : research

Volume 102, Issue 9
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



After previously reporting the presence of disease by cytology findings after treatment for cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia (CIN) in 64.6% of HIV-infected women and in 13.0% of HIV-negative women, we aimed to determine the severity of cytological disease after treatment in HIV-infected women.

We studied HIV-infected (=571) women treated at the Colposcopy Clinic at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Gauteng, between April 2003 and December 2006. We compared the initial histology results with Pap smears ≥6 months later, and evaluated factors associated with reduction in the grade of disease.
Mean age was 36.68 (SD+7.33) years; mean parity was 2 (SD+1.46); mean CD4+ count was 242.70 cells/µl (SD+187.56); 262 (45.80%) were receiving antiretroviral treatment. Persistent disease was detected on the repeat Pap smear in 199 (65.03%); of these, 223 (72.88%) were of a lesser grade than in the original histology results. Of the 152 with histologically confirmed CIN3, 67 (44.08%) had improved to a lesser grade, and 54 (44.63%) had normal cytology results. Among the latter two subject groups (=141) who had CIN2 histologically, 91 (64.53%) had improved, 29 (20.57%) remained unchanged, and 20 (14.88%) had CIN3; 13 (4.25%) patients with CIN1 returned for follow-up; 11 (84.62%) of these had normal Pap smears and 2 (15.38%) had CIN3.
Recurrences were of a lesser degree than initial histology results. This reduction in the grade of disease was related to CD4+ count, complete excision and parity. Antiretroviral therapy use did not improve outcome, perhaps owing to low initial CD4 counts.

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