Improvement in cervical dysplasia associated with folic acid therapy in users of oral contraceptives

C. E. Butterworth, K. D. Hatch, H. Gore, H. Mueller, C. L. Krumdieck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

179 Scopus citations

Abstract

Forty-seven young women with mild or moderate dysplasia of the uterine cervix (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia) diagnosed by cervical smears, received oral supplements of folic acid, 10 mg, or a placebo (ascorbic acid, 10 mg) daily for 3 months under double-blind conditions. All had used a combination-type oral contraceptive agent for at least 6 months and continued it while returning monthly for follow-up examinations. All smears and a biopsy obtained at the end of the trial period were classified by a single observer without knowledge of treatment status using an arbitrary scoring system (1 normal, 2 mild, 3 moderate, 4 severe, 5 carcinoma in situ). Mean biopsy scores from folate supplemented subjects were significantly better than in folate-unsupplemented subjects (2.28 versus 2,92, respectively; p < 0.05). Final versus initial cytology scores were also significantly better in supplemented subjects (1.95 versus 2.32, respectively; p < 0.05), unchanged in patients receiving the placebo (2.27 versus 2.30, respectively). Before treatment the mean red cell folate concentration was lower among oral contraceptive agent users than nonusers (189 versus 269 ng/ml, respectively; p < 0.01) and even lower among users with dysplasia (161 versus 269 ng/ml, respectively; p < 0.001). Morphological features of megaloblastosis were associated with dysplasia and also improved in folate supplemented subjects. These studies indicate that either a reversible, localized derangement in folate metabolism may sometimes be misdiagnosed as cervical dysplasia, or else such a derangement is an integral component of the dysplastic process that may be arrested or in some cases reversed by oral folic acid supplementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-82
Number of pages10
JournalUnknown Journal
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Improvement in cervical dysplasia associated with folic acid therapy in users of oral contraceptives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this