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Role of various screening techniques in detecting preinvasive lesions of the cervix among symptomatic women and women having unhealthy cervix

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India
2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, SCB Medical College, Cuttack, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Prasanta Kumar Nayak,
Qtr. No 302, Block C, Jainam Planet, Tatibandh, Raipur, Chhattisgarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcrt.JCRT_30_19

Introduction: Cervical cancer which is preventable, occurs due to humanpapiloma virus infection and results in a preinvasive condition called cervical intraepithelial neoplasm (CIN) before the development of cancer. Majority of the patients with CIN or early stage of cervical cancer present with symptoms such as abnormal vaginal discharge or bleeding, and unhealthy looking cervix. Selectively screening these symptomatic patients, can detect more number of positive cases and also most effective screening technique for these selective patients can be advocated. Materials and Methods: All married women between 21 and 65 years attending gynecology outpatient department of a tertiary care health center in Central India and having unhealthy cervix or abnormal vaginal discharge were included. All women were subjected to Pap smear, visual inspection under acetic acid (VIA), visual inspection under Lugol's iodine (VILI) and colposcopy. Biopsy was taken in all cases. Diagnostic value of each screening method was determined in terms of sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value. Results: Out of 352 patients, around 20% of them were found to have abnormal cytology. The sensitivity and specificity of Pap smear was found to be 34% and 94%. But colposcopy has high sensitivity and low specificity, i.e., 99% and 31%, respectively. On the other hand the sensitivity and specificity of VIA and VILI are comparable i.e., 65% and 45% and 64% and 48% respectively. Pap smear shows high positive predictive value among all, i.e., 85% and colposcopy shows 58% for the same. Conclusion: Pap smear carries low sensitivity but high positive predictive value. As compared to Pap smear, VIA and VILI are more sensitive and are of low cost. Colposcopy can be considered as a preferred method of screening due to its extremely high sensitivity.

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