Identification of cervical abnormalities: Results of acetic acid test, Pap test, colposcopy exam, and cervical biopsy
Improvements in screening for cervical abnormalities are needed because the Pap test has an unacceptable false negative rate. This methodological study of 23 women examined the sensitivity and specificity of the acetic acid test and Pap test in regards to colposcopy exam results in 23 women. Cervical biopsy results, obtained from eight women with abnormal colposcopy exam results, were used as a standard by which to compare the results of the acetic acid test, Pap test, and colposcopy exam.
In comparison to colposcopy, the acetic acid test had a sensitivity of 87.50% and a specificity of 86.67%. These findings suggest that the acetic acid test should be considered as an inexpensive adjunctive method of screening for cervical abnormalities. The Pap test had a sensitivity of 50% and a specificity of 93.33%. The sensitivity of the Pap test reaffirms the high false-negative rate of this test. There was 100% agreement between positive colposcopy results and positive cervical biopsy results.