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The use of electrical impedance spectroscopy in the detection of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia

Authors

  • S. ABDUL,

    Corresponding author
    1. Sheffield Gynaecological Cancer Centre, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, United Kingdom
      Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Summi Abdul, MB, ChB, BSc(Hon), DFFP, MRCOG, G18 Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield S10 2JF, UK. Email: SummiAbdul@hotmail.com
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  • B.H. BROWN,

    1. Department of Medical Physics, University of Sheffield, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, United Kingdom
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  • P. MILNES,

    1. Department of Medical Physics, University of Sheffield, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, United Kingdom
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  • J.A. TIDY

    1. Sheffield Gynaecological Cancer Centre, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, United Kingdom
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Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Summi Abdul, MB, ChB, BSc(Hon), DFFP, MRCOG, G18 Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield S10 2JF, UK. Email: SummiAbdul@hotmail.com

Abstract

The objective of this study was to assess the performance of cervical impedance spectroscopy in the detection of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) using the new MKIII impedance probe. A prospective observational study recruited women referred to colposcopy with an abnormal Papanicolaou smear. A pencil probe incorporating four gold electrodes was used to measure electrical impedance spectra from cervical epithelium. Colposcopy examinations, including probe positioning, were video recorded to allow for correlation between results obtained from colposcopic impression, histopathologic examination of colposcopic punch biopsies, and impedance measurements. Cervical impedance–derived parameters R, S, R/S, C, and Fc were assessed to see if significant difference in values obtained in CIN and normal epithelium existed. The performance of the probe in identifying women with CIN was also assessed. One hundred seventy-six women were recruited and 1168 points analyzed. Parameters R, S, and Fc showed significant separation of CIN or squamous intraepithelial lesion (SIL) from squamous, mature metaplastic, and columnar epithelium. Sensitivities of 74% and specificity of 53% can be achieved in identifying CIN 2/3 (High-grade SIL) in screened women. We conclude that cervical impedance spectrometry provides a potentially promising real-time screening tool for CIN with similar sensitivity and specificity to currently used screening tests. Further research is ongoing to develop the probe for potential clinical use.

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