Optical imaging for cervical cancer detection: solutions for a continuing global problem

Nat Rev Cancer. 2008 Sep;8(9):725-31. doi: 10.1038/nrc2462.


Cervical cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for women in developing countries. Optical technologies can improve the accuracy and availability of cervical cancer screening. For example, battery-powered digital cameras can obtain multi-spectral images of the entire cervix, highlighting suspicious areas, and high-resolution optical technologies can further interrogate such areas, providing in vivo diagnosis with high sensitivity and specificity. In addition, targeted contrast agents can highlight changes in biomarkers of cervical neoplasia. Such advances should provide a much needed global approach to cervical cancer prevention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Colposcopy
  • Contrast Media
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods*
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Optical Phenomena
  • Precancerous Conditions / diagnosis
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Spectrum Analysis
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis*


  • Contrast Media