A comparison of colposcopy using optical and video colposcopes

Daron G. Ferris, Tew Hong Ho, Fernando Guijon, Michael S. Macfee, Domiciana M.M. Guerra, Renzo Barrasso, Ian D. Duncan, Mark S. Litaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective. To compare the colposcopic adequacy, colposcopic impressions, histologic sampling intent, biopsy site location, procedural complications, and difficulty of colposcopic examinations using optical and video colposcopes. Materials and methods. Women and men presenting consecutively for colposcopy were examined independently by two colposcopists using alternately either an optical or video colposcope. Colposcopists individually recorded their exam adequacy, colposcopic impression, biopsy intent and site, procedural complications, and difficulty of examination. Most colposcopists had no prior experience with video colposcopes. Results. Of 300 patients, mean age 35.3 years (± 12.2 SD), examined, 29.7% were nulliparous, 4.9% pregnant, 52.5% had a previous biopsy and 34.3% had prior cervical treatment. Agreement between colposcopes was excellent for visualizing the complete squamocolumnar junction (75.6%, χ2 = 6.40, p = 0.09). Colposcopists using the video colposcope had more unsatisfactory exams of the endocervical canal (36.6%, 97/265) than did colposcopists using optical colposcopes (24.9%, 66/265, χ2 = 16.65, p = 0.001). Colposcopic impression agreement with pathology results were not significantly different between the video (58.1%) and optical (57.0%) colposcopes (χ2 = 0.09, p = 0.8). Biopsy intent (79.9% agreement, χ2 = 0.20, p = 0.7) and biopsy site selection by cervical quadrant were not significantly different for the two colposcopes. Both types of colposcopes were rated extremely easy to use, but colposcopy in general (T = 3.97, p < 0.001), visualization (T = 2.98, p = 0.002), assessment (T = 2.76, p = 0.004), and sampling (Wilcoxon = 2.27, p = 0.02) were determined to be easier when using optical colposcopes. Conclusions. Video colposcopes have similar, clinically relevant outcomes when compared with optical colposcopes. Colposcopists using optical colposcopes reported easier colposcopy exams and fewer unsatisfactory examinations of the endocervical canal. These findings may represent a learning curve effect as colposcopists become familiar with operating the video colposcope.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-71
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Lower Genital Tract Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000


  • Colposcopes
  • Colposcopy
  • Video colposcope

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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