A method to improve the accuracy between the presumed depth of excision and the actual depth of excision in women (2018)

Type of publication:
Journal article

*Papoutsis D.; *Kandanearachchi P.; *Sahu B.; Antonakou A.; Tzavara C.

Hippokratia; 2018; vol. 22 (no. 3); p. 113-121

Background: We aimed to determine whether continuous auditing of the presumed depth of excision and
comparing with the actual depth of excision in women having large loop excision of the transformation zone (LLETZ) improves the ability to acquire the desired depth of excision.
Method(s): This was a prospective study of women submitted to a single LLETZ treatment between 2017-2018. Two senior colposcopists recorded what they presumed was the depth of excision at the time of treatment and the subsequent histopathology report provided the actual excised depth. Multiple linear regression identified independently associated parameters with the difference between presumed and actual excision depth. Nonlinear regression determined the learning plateau defined as the theoretical minimal score of difference one could achieve with infinite practice.
Result(s): There were significant differences in practices with the first colposcopist using an 18-mm loop and the second colposcopist a 15-mm loop in the majority of cases. The median absolute and percentage difference between the presumed and actual excised depth was 2 mm and 16.6% and 3.5 mm and 35.4% for the two colposcopists, respectively. A learning plateau was identified only for the first colposcopist. We found that auditing consecutive excisions decreased significantly the difference between the presumed and actual depth of excision with a learning plateau at 2.2 mm of absolute difference and 22.6% of percentage difference and with a learning rate of 13 cervical excisions.
Conclusion(s): There might be a benefit in auditing our treatment practice as there seems to be a learning
plateau through this method

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