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Immediate referral to colposcopy versus cytological surveillance for minor cervical cytological abnormalities in the absence of HPV test

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, January 2017
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  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (66th percentile)

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6 tweeters


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Immediate referral to colposcopy versus cytological surveillance for minor cervical cytological abnormalities in the absence of HPV test
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, January 2017
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd009836.pub2
Pubmed ID

Maria Kyrgiou, Ilkka Kalliala, Anita Mitra, Christina Fotopoulou, Sadaf Ghaem-Maghami, Pierre PL Martin-Hirsch, Margaret Cruickshank, Marc Arbyn, Evangelos Paraskevaidis


A significant number of women are diagnosed with minor cytological abnormalities on cervical screening. Many authorities recommend surveillance as spontaneous regression might occur. However, attendance for cytological follow-up decreases with time and might put some women at risk of developing invasive disease. To assess the optimum management strategy for women with minor cervical cytological abnormalities (atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance - ASCUS or low-grade squamous intra-epithelial lesions - LSIL) at primary screening in the absence of HPV (human papillomavirus) DNA test. We searched the following electronic databases: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL Issue 4, 2016), MEDLINE (1946 to April week 2 2016) and Embase (1980 to 2016 week 16). We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing immediate colposcopy to cytological surveillance in women with atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS/borderline) or low-grade squamous intra-epithelial lesions (LSIL/mild dyskaryosis). The primary outcome measure studied was the occurrence of cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia (CIN). The secondary outcome measures studied included default rate, clinically significant anxiety and depression, and other self-reported adverse effects.We classified studies according to period of surveillance, at 6, 12, 24 or 36 months, as well as at 18 months, excluding a possible exit-examination. We calculated pooled risk ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) using a random-effects model with inverse variance weighting. Inter-study heterogeneity was assessed with I(2) statistics. We identified five RCTs with 11,466 participants that fulfilled the inclusion criteria. There were 18 cases of invasive cervical cancer, seven in the immediate colposcopy and 11 in the cytological surveillance groups, respectively. Although immediate colposcopy detects CIN2+ and CIN3+ earlier than cytology, the differences were no longer observed at 24 months (CIN2+: 3 studies, 4331 women; 17.9% versus 18.3%, RR 1.14, CI 0.66 to 1.97; CIN3+: 3 studies, 4331 women; 10.3% versus 11.9%, RR 1.02, CI 0.53 to 1.97). The inter-study heterogeneity was considerable (I(2) greater than 90%). Furthermore, the inclusion of the results of the exit examinations at 24 months, which could inflate the CIN detection rate of cytological surveillance, may have led to study design-derived bias; we therefore considered the evidence to be of low quality.When we excluded the exit examination, the detection rate of high-grade lesions at the 18-month follow-up was higher after immediate colposcopy (CIN2+: 2 studies, 4028 women; 14.3% versus 10.1%, RR 1.50, CI 1.12 to 2.01; CIN3+: 2 studies, 4028 women, 7.8% versus 6.9%, RR 1.24, CI 0.77 to 1.98) both had substantial inter-study heterogeneity (I(2) greater than 60%) and we considered the evidence to be of moderate quality).The meta-analysis revealed that immediate referral to colposcopy significantly increased the detection of clinically insignificant cervical abnormalities, as opposed to repeat cytology after 24 months of surveillance (occurrence of koilocytosis: 2 studies, 656 women; 32% versus 21%, RR 1.49, 95% CI 1.17 to 1.90; moderate-quality evidence) incidence of any CIN: 2 studies, 656 women; 64% versus 32%, RR 2.02, 95% CI 1.33 to 3.08, low-quality evidence; incidence of CIN1: 2 studies, 656 women; 21% versus 8%, RR 2.58, 95% CI 1.69 to 3.94, moderate-quality evidence).Due to differences in trial designs and settings, there was large variation in default rates between the included studies. The risk for default was higher for the repeat cytology group, with a four-fold increase at 6 months, a six-fold at 12 and a 19-fold at 24 months (6 months: 3 studies, 5117 women; 6.3% versus 13.3%, RR 3.85, 95% CI 1.27 to 11.63, moderate-quality evidence; 12 months: 3 studies, 5115 women; 6.3% versus 14.8%, RR 6.39, 95% CI 1.49 to 29.29, moderate-quality evidence; 24 months: 3 studies, 4331 women; 0.9% versus 16.1%, RR 19.1, 95% CI 9.02 to 40.43, moderate-quality evidence). Based on low- or moderate-quality evidence using the GRADE approach and generally low risk of bias, the detection rate of CIN2+ or CIN3+ after two years does not appear to differ between immediate colposcopy and cytological surveillance in the absence of HPV testing, although women may default from follow-up. Immediate colposcopy probably leads to earlier detection of high-grade lesions, but also detects more clinically insignificant low-grade lesions. Colposcopy may therefore be the first choice when good compliance is not assured. These results emphasize the need for an accurate reflex HPV triage test to distinguish women who need diagnostic follow-up from those who can return safely to routine recall.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 6 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 126 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 126 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 26 21%
Researcher 19 15%
Student > Ph. D. Student 12 10%
Student > Bachelor 11 9%
Student > Postgraduate 8 6%
Other 22 17%
Unknown 28 22%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 45 36%
Nursing and Health Professions 15 12%
Psychology 6 5%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 6 5%
Social Sciences 4 3%
Other 20 16%
Unknown 30 24%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 4. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 21 December 2017.
All research outputs
of 12,527,219 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 8,923 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 337,800 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 200 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 12,527,219 research outputs across all sources so far. This one has received more attention than most of these and is in the 70th percentile.
So far Altmetric has tracked 8,923 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 21.2. This one is in the 37th percentile – i.e., 37% of its peers scored the same or lower than it.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 337,800 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 66% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 200 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one is in the 26th percentile – i.e., 26% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.