African Health Sciences

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A comparison of triage methods for Kenyan women who screen positive for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia by visual inspection of the cervix with acetic acid

KCL Lewis, VD Tsu, A Dawa, NA Kidula, IN Chami, JW Sellors


Background: Only about one in seven visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA)-positive women has high-grade disease; further confirmatory testing could rule out false positives.
Objectives: To determine if visual inspection with Lugol’s iodine (VILI) or visual inspection with acetic acid and magnification (VIAM) can accurately confirm the presence of disease among rural Kenyan women referred to a district hospital because of a VIA-positive result at a primary health facility.
Methods: Referred women received cervical cytology and either VILI and/or VIAM as triage methods. All women were assessed by colposcopy and biopsied, if necessary.
Results: Of the 490 VIA-positive subjects referred, 332 (68%) attended the district hospital and received at least one of two triage tests and cervical cytology. The sensitivity and specificity for histologically-confirmed CIN 2 and 3 were 93% (14/15) and 32% (52/161) for VIAM; 100% (3/3) and 77% (49/64) for VILI; and 80% (16/20) and 48% (110/228) for cervical cytology. VILI reduced the number of false-positive screening results by 73%, without missing any true positives.
Conclusions: VILI had comparable sensitivity and significantly higher specificity compared to VIAM and cervical cytology. VILI may be a promising triage test for screen-positive women in low-resource settings; additional research is required.

Keywords: cervical cytology, mass screening, neoplasms, precancerous conditions, uterine cervical neoplasms, developing countries.

African Health Sciences 2011; 11(3): 362 - 369

AJOL African Journals Online