A significant negative trend in length of cone excision has been observed in recent years, leading to a higher percentage of positive endocervical excision margin and close (<1 mm) negative endocervical margin cases.
To evaluate the rate of disease persistence and recurrence after cervical excision for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia in relation to a close (<1 mm), negative, or positive endocervical margin.
We retrospectively analyzed a cohort of patients with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia having a carbon dioxide laser cervical excision performed by the same operator. We evaluated the rate of positive follow-up in relation to the status of endocervical margin.
We found a higher percentage of positivity at follow-up and recurrence rate between 13 and 24 months in patients with positive margin than for patients with negative or close endocervical margin ( = .005 and = .006, respectively), with no difference between negative and close margin (7.0% versus 8.3%, = .89, and 1.2% versus 0%, = .83, respectively).
Women with close and negative endocervical margin presented similar risk of positivity at long-term follow-up, disease persistence, and recurrence between 13 and 24 months, so the histopathologic report of a free endocervical margin less than 1 mm should not categorize the patient as being at increased risk of treatment failure. Therefore, the only information that the pathologist should report is the state of the margin (positive or negative), regardless of the negative endocervical margin length.