Objective: To compare visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) with conventional cervical cytology as a follow-up cervical cancer screening method in women who had been treated previously with cryotherapy.
Methods: Salvadoran women screened with VIA and treated with cryotherapy within 3 years were eligible to participate. Study participants were rescreened with VIA, Pap smear, colposcopy, 4-quandrant biopsy, and endocervical curettage.
Results: Of 147 women enrolled in the study, post-cryotherapy VIA was positive in 39 women (26.5%; 95% CI, 19.6%-34.4%). Of these 39, 1 woman had CIN 1 or higher on biopsy. Post-cryotherapy Pap smear was positive (ASCUS or higher) in 6 women (4.1%; 95% CI, 1.5%-8.7%). Of these 6, 2 women had CIN 1 or higher on biopsy. Post-cryotherapy specificity was significantly higher for Pap compared with VIA (95.8% [138/144]; 95% CI, 91.2%-98.5% vs 73.6% [106/144]; 95% CI, 65.6%-80.6%; P<0.001).
Conclusion: As the single-visit approach for cervical cancer screening gains popularity, more women will have been treated with cryotherapy. Appropriate follow-up screening is therefore vital. Cytology may be a more suitable screening method than VIA in low-resource settings for women treated previously with cryotherapy.
Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.