Accuracy of the Triple Test Versus Colposcopy for the Diagnosis of Premalignant and Malignant Cervical Lesions

Document Type: Research Articles

Authors

1 Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Science, Yazd, Iran.

2 Endometriosis Research Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences (IUMS), Tehran, Iran.

3 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital Schleswig Holstein, Luebeck, Germany.

4 Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

5 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Research Institute for Health Development, Kurdistan University of Medical Sciences, Sanandaj, Iran.

6 Dpartment of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Iran University of Medical Sciences, (IUMS), Tehran, Iran.

7 University Hospitals Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel, Kiel School of Gynaecological Endoscopy. Arnold-Heller-Str. 3, Haus 24, 24105 Kiel, Germany.

Abstract

Background: Despite the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations concerning the use of alternative tests for the detection of cervical cancer precursor lesions in low-income countries, the accuracy of these tests is a debated issue. In the present study we compare the diagnostic accuracy of the triple test with that of colposcopy for the diagnosis of premalignant and malignant cervical lesions. Methods: A cross-sectional study was performed in 328 women referred to the gynecology clinic at Shahid Sadoughi Hospital, affiliated to Yazd University of Medical Sciences (SSUMS), Yazd, Iran, from March 2016 to June 2018. As the first step, a Pap smear was obtained from all participants. Visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) and Lugol’s iodine (VILI) was performed in accordance with the known protocol. A colposcopy was then conducted in all participants, biopsy samples were obtained, and histological features studied. Finally, the results were compared by statistical analysis. Results: The age range of the participants was 30 - 50 years. Of 328 women, 60 (18.3 %) were postmenopausal. Two-hundred and five patients (62.5 %) had an abnormal Pap smear, 165 (50.3 %) had abnormal results on colposcopy, and 141 (43 %) had abnormal histopathology reports. The VIA was positive in 129 patients (39.3 %) and the VILI in 177 (54 %). The results of the triple test were reported to be positive in 205 cases (51.52 %). The sensitivity of the triple test in the detection of premalignant and malignant cervical lesions was 78.7 % and 69 %, respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of colposcopy in the detection of premalignant and malignant cervical lesions was 80.1 % and 72.2 %, respectively. The diagnostic accuracy of the triple test and colposcopy in the detection of premalignant and malignant cervical lesions was 73 % versus 75 %. Conclusion: Since the results of the study showed that the diagnostic accuracy of the triple test is equivalent that of colposcopy, the former may be used in low-income countries and areas lacking access to colposcopy.

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