Medicina, Vol. 57, Pages 1101: The Influence of SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Cervical Dysplasia
Medicina doi: 10.3390/medicina57101101
Rodica Daniela Nagy
Laurențiu Mihai Dîră
Background and objectives. The risk of developing invasive cancer increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in Romania, where the incidence of this disease is high due to limited medical education and broad screening. This study’s objective is to analyze the number of patients admitted with different types of cervical dysplasia and the treatment applied for the lesions during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic compared to the same period for the year before the pandemic. Materials and methods: This is a retrospective study that took place in the Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics I/II (OG I/II) of the Emergency County Hospital of Craiova during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic (SP) (15.03.2020–14.03.2021) and in the 12 months before (non-pandemic period) (NPP) (15.03.2019–14.03.2020). The study includes 396 patients with pathological PAP smear results. All the patients included in this study were clinically examined and with colposcopy. The patients with Low-Grade Dysplasia were managed in a conservatory manner and reevaluated after six months. The patients with High-Grade Dysplasia were admitted for an excisional biopsy of the lesion. The excised fragments were sent to the Pathological Anatomy Laboratory for a histopathological examination. Results: This study reveals a decrease of more than half in the number of patients admitted with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) lesions during the pandemic compared to the same period of the year before. The number of biopsies and excisional procedures has been decreasing by more than a factor of three during the pandemic period compared to the year before. Conclusion: During the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, we found that the patients’ admission rate, diagnosis, and treatment was almost four times lower. As hospital restrictions were not dictated for cancer/precancer management during SP, we may assume that the differences were due to the fear of becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2 due to hospitalization. In the context of poor screening performance and high cervical cancer incidence, the influence of the SP may result in a further increase of severe cases related to this condition.
Free full text: Read More