Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid-an Acceptable Option in Screening of Cervical Cancer.
Objectives| To evaluate the accuracy of Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA) and Papanicolaou (Pap) smear as screening tests for cervical carcinoma and compare it with cervical biopsy as a gold standard.
Methods| This was a cross-sectional study conducted at Gynae Unit 3 Services Institute of Medical Sciences from Jan 2016 to December 2016. All the married patients between 18 to 64 years of age were included in the study. Every patient underwent VIA, Pap smear and colposcopic directed biopsy from aceto white area as well as from 2:00 clock and 5:00 clock position. We determined the sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of VIA, Pap smear and both tests and compared them with histopathology of biopsy specimen.
Results| 476 women were screened in the study. Out of these, 110 (23.10%) patients were VIA positive and 40 (8.40%) patients were positive with Pap smear. Thirty seven (7.77%) patients were positive on both VIA and Pap smear. A total of 43 (9.03%) patients had cervical pre-malignancy on biopsy. The sensitivity of VIA and pap was 97.67%, 94.87% while specificity was 84.29% and 99.31%respectively (p=0.001). The PPV of VIA and pap was 38.18% and 92.5 %( p=0.00) while NPV was 99.7% and 99.5% respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of both tests combined was 94.59% and 99.54% while the PPV and NPV was 94.59% and 99.54% respectively. Diagnostic accuracy of VIA was 85.5%.
Conclusion| VIA has high sensitivity and NPV which makes it an effective screening test for cervical carcinoma in developing countries like Pakistan. Pap smear can be combined to VIA positive cases to improve its specificity.
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