Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cervix Inspection Catches More Lesions Than Pap Smear Alone

Date:
January 4, 2005
Source:
Center For The Advancement Of Health
Summary:
Inspecting the cervix with a bright light technology called speculoscopy directly after a Pap smear may detect more cervical lesions than the Pap test alone, according to a new review of studies about the procedure.

Inspecting the cervix with a bright light technology called speculoscopy directly after a Pap smear may detect more cervical lesions than the Pap test alone, according to a new review of studies about the procedure.

But the higher detection rates come at a cost: More potentially cancerous lesions will be caught with the combination of technologies, but the process also increases the risk of “false positives,” or cells wrongly identified as lesions, according to the researchers. Their review was published by ECRI, a nonprofit health services research agency that produces systematic evidence reviews on medical devices, drugs, biotechnologies and procedures.

The addition of speculoscopy to regular Pap smear screening helped detect an additional 42 to 62 lesions per 1,000 patients screened, but the technology also increased the number of false positives from 55 to 111 for each 1,000 patients screened.

“The trade-off between finding more lesions and more false positives is typical of diagnostic technologies,” says ECRI study author Charles Turkelson. “At issue with speculoscopy is that determining its exact clinical significance, as well as its place among screening tools, awaits further study.”

The ECRI report identified only three studies that compared speculoscopy and Pap smear with Pap smear alone, so the available evidence about speculoscopy remains “weak,” it concludes.

Speculoscopy is not covered by Medicare, and the study authors found few private medical insurers who mentioned the procedure in their policies. Those insurers who did mention the procedure did not cover it, calling it “investigational.”

None of the available speculoscopy studies discuss whether the technology decreases the likelihood of developing cervical cancer or prevents outcomes like hysterectomies or cancer-related deaths.

Speculoscopy involves washing the cervix with a diluted acid solution after a traditional Pap smear and then inspecting the cervix with a special disposable blue-white light called a Speculiteฎ, made by the Trylon Corporation.

Using a low magnification lens provided with the light, a physician uses the light to detect potential lesions that have been highlighted with the help of the acid wash. The combined procedures take about two to three minutes to complete.

In a Pap smear, cells are scraped from the cervix and examined microscopically for signs of cancer. Speculoscopy is meant to work hand in hand with Pap smears, not replace them entirely, the authors note.

“The Pap smear has been one of the most effective mass screening tools for detection of non-invasive forms of cervical lesions during the past 60 years,” they say.

However, human error can creep in when cervical cells are collected and analyzed for the Pap smear, the authors say, Also, some women do not shed abnormal cervical cells, making it hard to detect any lesions by Pap smear alone.

The three studies analyzed by ECRI included 3,645 patients studied between 1993 and 1998. One other study identified by the ECRI researchers compared the cost-effectiveness of an annual Pap smear versus a speculoscopy plus Pap smear procedure every two years.

Although the combination procedure seemed to slightly reduce the cost of follow-up screenings and tests, the comparison “should be made cautiously” because the two procedures were compared over different time frames, the ECRI authors say.

“An important question that has not been addressed in any study to date is how speculoscopy compares with competing technologies, such as thin-layer Pap smear preparation or automated slide screening. These are becoming accepted aspects of cervical cancer screening, such that fewer and fewer clinicians and labs are treating Pap smear slides using traditional methods,” the report authors explain.

More than 10,000 cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2004, with nearly 4,000 women dying of the disease. Cervical cancer is more common among black and Hispanic women than white women.

ECRI is a nonprofit international health services research agency that provides information and technical assistance to the health care community.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Center For The Advancement Of Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Center For The Advancement Of Health. "Cervix Inspection Catches More Lesions Than Pap Smear Alone." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 January 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050104114021.htm>.
Center For The Advancement Of Health. (2005, January 4). Cervix Inspection Catches More Lesions Than Pap Smear Alone. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050104114021.htm
Center For The Advancement Of Health. "Cervix Inspection Catches More Lesions Than Pap Smear Alone." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050104114021.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) — New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) — Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) — Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) — Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins