© 2015 British HIV Association Objectives: Electrocautery is one of the main treatment options for high-grade anal intraepithelial neoplasia (HGAIN). However, data regarding its efficacy are scarce. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of electrocautery for the treatment of HGAIN. Methods: An observational study of HIV-infected men who have sex with men (MSM) who underwent screening for anal dysplasia was carried out. The on-treatment effectiveness of electrocautery was evaluated (according to biopsy findings measured 6–8 weeks after treatment) in patients with HGAIN. A complete response was defined as resolution of anal intraepithelial neoplasia (AIN), a partial response as regression to low-grade AIN and recurrence as biopsy-proven HGAIN during follow-up. Results: From May 2009 to November 2014, 21.9% (126 of 576) of patients screened were found to have HGAIN. Electrocautery effectiveness was evaluated in 83 patients. A complete response was observed in 27 patients [32.5%; 95% confidence interval (CI) 23.4–53.2%], a partial response in 28 patients (33.7%; 95% CI 24.5–44.4%) and persistence in 28 patients (33.7%; 95% CI 24.5–44.4%). The patients with the most successful results (81.8%) required two to four sessions of electrocautery. After a mean follow-up of 12.1 months, 14 of 55 patients with a response (25.4%; 95% CI 15.8–38.3%) developed recurrent HGAIN within a mean time of 29.9 months (95% CI 22–37.7 months). No patient progressed to invasive cancer during the study or developed serious adverse events after treatment. No factors associated with poor response or recurrences were observed. Conclusions: Although electrocautery is the standard treatment for anal dysplasia, almost 50% of patients with HGAIN in our study did not respond or relapsed. New treatment strategies are necessary to optimize the management of anal dysplasia.
- anal intraepithelial neoplasia
- electrocautery ablation
- human papillomavirus infection