The Italian experience of a Pap test and speculoscopy based screening programme

F. Boselli, S. De Martis, F. Rivasi, A. Toni, R. Abbiati, G. Chiossi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives - The main objective of the study was to evaluate if speculoscopy, a magnified chemiluminescent examination, combined with a Pap smear, could improve the detection of early cervical lesions compared with the Pap smear alone. Setting - Pap tests and speculoscopies were performed in two family planning centres located in the surrounding areas of Modena. Colposcopic investigations and biopsies of the uterine cervix were performed in a second level centre (Gynaecological Prevention Centre of Modena Policlinico). Histological specimens were analysed at the Section of Pathological Anatomy of Modena Policlinico. Subjects - The study population comprised 1000 women aged 25-64 years, invited to undergo a Pap smear every three years in accordance with the screening programme for cervical cancer started in Modena in 1997. Methods - Midwives performed the Pap smear and speculoscopy in succession. Women with a positive Pap test and/or positive speculoscopy underwent colpos-Copy and, if colposcopic findings were positive, targeted punch biopsies were performed. Results - A total of 1000 patients were subjected to cytology and speculoscopy examinations. Among these women, 10 had abnormal Pap smear findings whereas 144 had an abnormal speculoscopic pattern. Only three of 59 patients with a histological diagnosis of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade I (CIN I)/human papillomavirus and only three of seven patients with CIN II/CIN III had a positive Pap test. Conclusions - Speculoscopy combined with a Pap test can significantly increase the detection of cervical lesions when included in a screening programme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-162
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Medical Screening
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Cervical cancer
  • Colposcopy
  • Pap test
  • Screening
  • Speculoscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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