Reasons for Variation in Sensitivity and Specificity of Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA) for the Detection of Pre-Cancer and Cancer Lesions of Uterine Cervix

  • Parashari, Aditya (Division of Clinical Research, Institute of Cytology and Preventive Oncology (ICMR)) ;
  • Singh, Veena (Division of Clinical Research, Institute of Cytology and Preventive Oncology (ICMR))
  • Published : 2013.12.31


Alternative strategies such as visual inspection of cervix with acetic acid, are real time, economical and easily implemented methods for cervical cancer screening. However, variable sensitivity and specificity have been observed in various community based studies. The possible reasons could include variation in man power training, light source used for visualization, and preparation of diluted (4-5%) acetic acid and its storage. A standardized protocol for training, teaching material (easy to understand in the local language) for trainees, supervision and reinforcement by intermittent and supplementary training to check the quality of their observation, a standard protocol for preparation dilute acetic acid and its storage and a standard good light source (equivalent to day light) are needed to minimize the variation in sensitivity and specificity of VIA in community settings.


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