Safety, feasibility, and acceptability of visual inspection with acetic acid and immediate treatment with cryotherapy in rural Laos

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2011 Sep;114(3):268-72. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2011.03.009. Epub 2011 Jul 12.


Objective: To assess the safety, acceptability, and feasibility of visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) followed by immediate treatment with cryotherapy as a single-visit approach for the prevention of cervical cancer among women in rural Laos.

Methods: In 2009, women from 2 provinces in Laos were recruited for cervical cancer screening using VIA. If the inspection of the cervix showed a well-defined acetowhite lesion close to the os, immediate cryotherapy was offered.

Results: Of the 1926 women who were included, 134 (7.0%) tested positive on VIA. Of these, 113 (84.3%) underwent immediate cryotherapy and none declined treatment. One year after immediate cryotherapy, 77 (68.1%) women returned for a follow-up assessment and 68 (88.3%) were now VIA-negative. There was no report of a major complication during or after treatment. The acceptance of both VIA and cryotherapy was high.

Conclusion: Visual inspection with acetic acid is a simple test that requires minimal infrastructure and expenditure. Integration of VIA with cryotherapy at the primary care level may constitute a feasible program for the prevention of cervical cancer in Laos.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetic Acid*
  • Adult
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / diagnosis*
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / prevention & control
  • Cryotherapy*
  • Developing Countries
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Laos
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Rural Population
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / prevention & control


  • Indicators and Reagents
  • Acetic Acid