Document Type



Obstetrics and Gynaecology (East Africa)


Objective: To assess the test qualities of four screening methods to detect cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia in an urban African setting.

Method: Six hundred fiftythree women, attending a family planning clinic in Nairobi (Kenya), underwent four concurrent screening methods: pap smear, visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA), PCR for high risk human papillomavirus (HR HPV) and cervicography. The presence of cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia (CIN) was verified by colposcopy or biopsy.

Result: Sensitivity (for CIN2 or higher) and specificity (to exclude any CIN or cancer) were 83.3% (95% CI [73.6, 93.0]) and 94.6% (95% CI [92.6, 96.5]), respectively, for pap smear; 73.3% (95% CI [61.8, 84.9]) and 80.0% (95% CI [76.6, 83.4]) for VIA; 94.4% (95% CI [84.6, 98.8]) and 73.9% (95% CI [69.7, 78.2]) for HR HPV; and 72.3% (95% CI [59.1, 85.6]) and 93.2% (95% CI [90.8, 95.7]) for cervicography.

Conclusion: The pap smear had the highest specificity (94.6%) and HPV testing the highest sensitivity (94.4%). The visual methods, VIA and cervicography, were similar and showed an accuracy in between the former two tests.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

International journal of gynecology & obstetrics