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Cervical visual inspection with acetic acid as an alternative screening test for cervical cancer detection

Background: Cervical cancer is one of the major causes of women death worldwide. Our goal was to compare the visual inspection of cervix with acetic acid (VIA) and Pap smear, for screening of pre-cancer and cancer of cervix.

Methods: VIA and Pap smear tests were performed on 468 women. All positive results were referred for colposcopy and cervical biopsy. 44 patients with negative VIA were also referred for colposcopy and cervical biopsy.

Results: 43 patients had positive VIA and 23 patients had positive Pap smear results. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value of VIA were 66.7%, 55.1%, 18.6% and 91.5%, respectively and for Pap smear test they were 75%. 82.1%, 39.1% and 95.5%, respectively. Test accuracy for VIA and Pap smear were 56.7 and 81.1, respectively.

Conclusion: VIA has high sensitivity but low positive predictive value. By considering the low price of this test and its availability, it can be proposed as a screening method in cervical cancer.

Author(s): Farahnaz Keshavarzi , Anisodowleh Nankali , Taravat Fakheri , Mansour Rezaei , Ahmad Khoshay , Nasrin Eslamizadeh , Shirin Naseeri Bookani

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