A study of the follow up patterns of women treated for CIN 2 and 3 before and after the introduction of the 1992 guidelines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Department of Gynaecological Oncology, City Hospital Trust, Birmingham, UK.


OBJECTIVE: To analyse the five year cytology follow up data after discharge on women treated for histologically proven cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 2 and 3. To assess whether the introduction of the 1992 Guidelines for Clinical Practice and Programme Management affected follow up patterns. To identify who was lost to follow up and for what reasons.

DESIGN: A retrospective cohort study of cervical cytological follow up data from 186 women treated for CIN 2 and 3.

SETTING: Primary care services, West Midlands, United Kingdom.

POPULATION: One hundred and eighty-six women with CIN 2 or 3 treated with large loop excision of the transformation zone at the City Hospital, Birmingham, in whom the first follow up smear at six months was normal. The women were divided into two groups: Group 1 consisted of women treated before the introduction of the Guidelines (1988-1990), and Group 2 consisted of women treated at the time of the introduction of the Guidelines in 1992.

INTERVENTION: Introduction of the 1992 Guidelines for Clinical Practice and Programme Management.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: To determine the number of follow up smears each woman had over a five year period, to determine the number of women who had the recommended number of follow up smears, and to identify the number of women lost to follow up.

RESULTS: The median (interquartile range) number of smears in Group 1 was five (four to six) and in Group 2 was four (four to five). A similar proportion of women in both groups subsequently had abnormal smears (15% and 13.6%). Only one woman required further treatment. 22% of women in Group 1 and 10.2% of women in Group 2 had the correct number of smears to fulfil the 1992 Guidelines. There were 21 women (11.3%) who only had one smear following discharge from the clinic in the five year follow up period.

CONCLUSIONS: The data from both cohorts shows follow up to be poor, and the introduction of the 1992 Guidelines has yet to result in an improvement in follow up patterns. The absence of a national cervical cytology database means that surveys of cytology follow up data will continue to be difficult due to the problems of data collection from numerous health authorities and the mobility of women in this age group.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1126-9
Number of pages4
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1999


  • Adult, Biopsy, Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia, Cohort Studies, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Practice Guidelines as Topic, Retrospective Studies, Uterine Cervical Neoplasms, Vaginal Smears