A Pilot Study of Low-Cost, High-Resolution Microendoscopy as a Tool for Identifying Women with Cervical Precancer

3Department of Bioengineering, Rice University, Houston, Texas
Cancer Prevention Research (Impact Factor: 4.44). 08/2012; 5(11). DOI: 10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-12-0221
Source: PubMed


Cervical cancer remains one of the leading causes of death among women in developing countries. Without resources to support Pap smear cytology and colposcopy, cost-effective approaches which enable single-visit "see-and-treat" protocols offer the potential to reduce morbidity and mortality due to this preventable disease. We carried out a pilot clinical study in Shanxi province, China, to evaluate a low-cost, high-resolution microendoscope (HRME) imaging system which enables evaluation of epithelial cell morphology in vivo. HRME images were obtained at discrete sites on the cervix in 174 women, in addition to visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) and colposcopic examination. Of 69 sites appearing abnormal on colposcopy, only 12 showed high-grade disease (CIN2+) on pathology. Quantification of the nuclear-to-cytoplasm ratio by HRME enabled an ad hoc threshold to be defined, which correctly classified all 12 sites as abnormal, whilst classifying 38 of the remaining 57 pathology normal sites as normal. All patients with biopsy confirmed high-grade disease also tested positive for high-risk human papilloma virus (HPV) DNA and were classified as abnormal by HRME. Among the remaining patients who tested positive for HPV but were either normal by colposcopy or showed <CIN2 on pathology, only 6 of 32 (18.8%) were classified as abnormal by HRME.Visual examination techniques for cervical cancer screening may overestimate the prevalence of precancerous lesions, leading to unnecessary treatment, expense, and patient stress. The results of this study suggest that evaluation of suspicious lesions by HRME may assist in ruling out immediate cryotherapy, thus increasing the efficiency of current see-and-treat programs. Cancer Prev Res; 1-7. ©2012 AACR.

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    ABSTRACT: Cervical cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer and cancer-related deaths among women worldwide. More than 85% of cases and deaths occur in the developing world where the availability of effective screening is limited. In this issue of the journal, Pierce and colleagues (beginning on page 1273) describe a novel technique using a high-resolution microendoscope (HRME) to diagnose cervical dysplasia. This perspective reviews the limitations of existing cervical cancer screening methods currently in use in low-resource settings and the potential for HRME imaging to contribute to cervical cancer prevention in the developing world. Cancer Prev Res; 5(11); 1257-9. ©2012 AACR.
    Cancer Prevention Research 11/2012; 5(11):1257-9. DOI:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-12-0409 · 4.44 Impact Factor
  • Cancer Prevention Research 01/2013; 6(1):1-3. DOI:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-12-0469 · 4.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: To investigate the concordance between optical images obtained with high-resolution microendoscopy (HRME) and conventional histopathology for ex vivo cholesteatoma specimens and surrounding middle ear epithelium. Methods: After resection of cholesteatoma and surrounding middle ear epithelium from surgical patients, tissues were stained with a contrast agent, proflavine, and the HRME fiberoptic scope was placed directly on each tissue specimen. 4- 10 short movie clips were recorded for both the cholesteatoma and surrounding middle ear epithelium specimens. The imaged areas were sent for standard histopathology, and the stained specimens were correlated with the HRME images. IRB approval was obtained, and each patient was consented for the study. Results: Ten cholesteatoma specimens and 9 middle ear specimens were collected from 10 patients. In each case, cholesteatoma was easily discriminated from normal middle ear epithelium by its hyperfluorescence and loss of cellular detail. Qualitative analysis for concordance between HRME images and histological images from the same surgical specimen yielded a strong correlation between imaging modalities. Conclusions: Keratinizing cholesteatoma and surrounding middle ear epithelium have distinct imaging characteristics. Loss of cellular detail and hyperfluorescence with proflavine are the hallmark characteristics of cholesteatoma which allow for differentiation from normal middle ear epithelium. Real-time optical imaging can potentially improve the results of otologic surgery by allowing for extirpation of cholesteatomas while eliminating residual disease. We anticipate performing an in vivo study to test this hypothesis.
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