Accuracy of Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA) for Early Detection of Cervical Dysplasia in Tehran, Iran


Objective: To evaluate the accuracy of visual inspection with 5% acetic acid (VIA) when used to detect cervical ‍cancer and its precursors. ‍
Methods: The study population included women attended Family Planning and Gynecological Clinic in Bagher ‍Abad Health Center and Mirza Koochak Khan Hospital for regular cervical screening tests. After obtaining informed ‍consent from each woman, VIA was performed. One hundred with a positive VIA test and 100 women with a ‍negative VIA test were randomly selected for this study. Cytology and colposcopy examination were performed for ‍all 200 cases and cervical biopsies were conducted for those individuals showing abnormal colposcopic findings. ‍
Results: Nine cases in VIA-positive group and two cases in VIA-negative group had an abnormal cytology. Ninety ‍five women in the VIA-positive group and 25 in the VIA-negative group had abnormal colposcopic findings. From ‍biopsy examination, 67 (71%) of cases in the VIA-positive group and 3 (12%) cases in the VIA-negative group had ‍a final diagnosis of dysplasia. Among biopsied samples, only 7 cases of VIA-positive group showed abnormal result ‍and the remaining were normal. Based on these results, VIA test sensitivity and specificity were 95.7% and 44.0% ‍respectively, while they were 10% and 92% for cytology tests. ‍
Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that although VIA is a sensitive screening test for detection of ‍cervical dysplasia, it can not be used by itself. Applying VIA along with Pap smears helps to detect a higher number ‍of cases with cancer precursor lesions.