Baseline inaccuracy rates for the comparison of cervical biopsy to loop electrosurgical excision histopathologic diagnoses

Bel Barker, Francisco A Garcia, Janet Warner, Jonathan Lozerski, Kenneth D Hatch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to quantify the baseline inaccuracies in histopathologic diagnosis between colposcopically directed cervical biopsies and loop electrosurgical excision procedure specimens. STUDY DESIGN: A retrospective review was made of cervical biopsies and loop electrosurgical excision procedure pairs (n = 448) that were performed at the University of Arizona between 1992 and 2000. Agreement was assessed by κ statistics and Spearman ρ coefficients. Subgroup analysis was performed (n = 139) to assess pairs with significant inaccuracy between biopsy and loop electrosurgical excision procedure, when these were performed within 28 days of each other. RESULTS: Eighty-one percent agreement was found between cervical biopsy and loop electrosurgical excision procedure histopathologic diagnoses, when compared to within 1 degree (κ, 0.73; P < .0001). A discrepancy that would be attributed to regression or progression was found: mild biopsy (regression, none by definition; progression, 4%), moderate biopsy (regression, 9%; progression, 0%), and severe biopsy (regression, 26%; progression, 0%). CONCLUSION: Even when colposcopically directed cervical biopsy correlates strongly with loop electrosurgical excision procedure histopathologic diagnosis, there is a definable percentage of patients for whom there is a discrepancy between these 2 diagnoses. This discrepancy represents an inherent inaccuracy of the diagnostic testing modality and should not be interpreted as progression or regression of disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-352
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2002



  • Cervical dysplasia
  • Colposcopically directed cervical biopsy
  • Histopathologic
  • Inaccuracy
  • Loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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