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Acta Cytol. 1998 Jan-Feb;42(1):33-49.

Colposcopy, cervicography, speculoscopy and endoscopy. International Academy of Cytology Task Force summary. Diagnostic Cytology Towards the 21st Century: An International Expert Conference and Tutorial.

Abstract

ISSUES:

The colposcope was developed in 1925 and is well established in clinical gynecologic practice for defining and delineating cytologically detected lesions mainly of the cervix but also the vagina and vulva. Additionally, various endoscopic procedures in gastroenterology, pulmonary and urologic lesions enhance the cytologic detection and histologic verification of precancerous and cancerous lesions. The cost-effectiveness of all these devices and their applicability, particularly in countries with a limited health budget, is a major issue. This task force considered aspects of the present state of the art and the challenges in the 21st century.

CONSENSUS POSITION:

Automated cytology can interface with colposcopic examination in a number of significant ways. Automated cytologic analysis of conventional cervical smears can potentially direct colposcopic examination by predicting the nature of a lesion, assist in determining which patients should receive colposcopy and, in some settings, thereby reduce the number of colposcopies. Potentially, various combinations of automated cytology and colposcopy may be used to generate screening protocols that might result in more effective and inexpensive screening. The role of cervicography, or high-resolution cervical photography, as a screening device remains to be defined. Sensitivity for high grade lesions is generally no greater than that in cytology, and specificity appears lower. The interpretation of cervical photographs in triage of mildly abnormal cytology may prove to be useful in countries with established cytology programs. In areas of the world where cytology screening programs are not in place, the interpretation of cervical photographs may have its most dramatic effect. Cost-effectiveness analyses are needed. There are, at present, insufficient data for the evaluation of speculoscopy, a procedure using chemiluminescent illumination of the cervix for visualization of acetowhite areas. Basic training in colposcopy should be integrated into the residency programs of obstetrics and gynecology. Criteria for the adequate training of colposcopists should be developed. Continuing education programs in colposcopy should be developed when they are not already in existence. The cost-effectiveness of integrating colposcopy as a primary screening technique should be evaluated. Following a high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL) cytology result, colposcopically directed punch biopsy should be taken with or without endocervical curettage. This generally should precede the loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP); however, in certain circumstances direct LEEP may be indicated. LEEP under colposcopic vision is an efficient way to treat an HSIL lesion of the cervix because the histologic extent and margins can be determined, unlike with laser surgery or cryosurgery. It is also more cost-effective than cold knife conization because general anesthesia and an operating room are unnecessary. Following LEEP, the endocervical canal should be examined colposcopically for any evidence of involvement. Lesions in the endocervix can then be removed with a different-shaped loop. Further research into Raman spectroscopy as a diagnostic aid in cervical pathology is needed, as is the use of micrococolpohysteroscopy for in vivo cytologic analyses, especially of the endocervical canal and transformation zone. Hysteroscopy is the most direct method for the diagnosis and treatment of intrauterine diseases. Hysteroscopic endometrial biopsy is more accurate than conventional biopsy methods. Cervical invasion of endometrial cancer can be detected by hysteroscopy. The depth of invasion, however, is more accurately determined by magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography.

ONGOING ISSUES:

Many topics for ongoing research and/or implementation are mentioned under "Consensus Position," above. (ABSTRACT TRUNCATED)

PMID:
9479322
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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