Purpose: This study compared the InPouch TV culture to wet-mount, Diamond's culture medium, and Papanicolaou (Pap) smear for the diagnosis of trichomonas infection in sexually active adolescents.
Methods: A total of 467 subjects were recruited among 12-18-year-old girls who received pelvic examinations at two urban adolescent clinics. All girls were tested by wet-mount and InPouch TV. In addition 339 of 467 had cultures in Diamond's medium and 366 of 467 had Pap smears. Specimens were collected for InPouch TV and Diamond's cultures and read at 24-48 h and 5 days, and in the case of Diamond's cultures, also at 7 days. In a subset of subjects (268 of 467) who had all four tests done, sensitivities and specificities were calculated using Diamond's culture as the "gold standard."
Results: In the 467 subjects, 73 (15.6%) tested positive for trichomonas by at least one method. In the subset with all four tests done, sensitivities of the wet-mount and InPouch TV were 36% and 81%, respectively; while that of the Pap smear was 56%. The culture media were equally efficient in identifying Trichomonas vaginalis. There were no differences found between subjects with or without trichomonas infections in gynecological symptoms, previous history of sexually transmitted diseases, or use of a condom at last intercourse.
Conclusions: InPouch TV culture is a good diagnostic method for T. vaginalis because of its long shelf-life, relatively low expense, and high sensitivity (over twice as sensitive as wet-mount).