Evaluation of cervical cytology

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Record ID 32002000324
Authors' objectives:

This report compares new technologies for cervical cytological screening with conventional Papanicolaou (Pap) test screening in terms of diagnostic accuracy, costs, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness in adult women of average cervical cancer risk.

Authors' recommendations: Estimates of the sensitivity of the conventional Pap test are biased in most studies; based on the least biased studies, sensitivity is near 50 percent, much lower than generally believed. Newer technologies improve sensitivity compared with conventional Pap screening; however, there are no precise estimates for their effect on specificity. Under assumptions favorable to improved initial screening technologies and rescreening technologies, either approach can result in acceptable cost per life-year saved at 3-year Pap screening intervals. However, the imprecision in estimates of effectiveness and cost of the new technologies makes drawing firm conclusions about their relative cost-effectiveness problematic.
Authors' methods: Systematic review
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 1999
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: United States
MeSH Terms
  • Diagnostic Techniques and Procedures
  • Mass Screening
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms
  • Vaginal Smears
Organisation Name: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Contact Address: Center for Outcomes and Evidence Technology Assessment Program, 540 Gaither Road, Rockville, MD 20850, USA. Tel: +1 301 427 1610; Fax: +1 301 427 1639;
Contact Name: martin.erlichman@ahrq.hhs.gov
Contact Email: martin.erlichman@ahrq.hhs.gov
Copyright: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
This is a bibliographic record of a published health technology assessment from a member of INAHTA or other HTA producer. No evaluation of the quality of this assessment has been made for the HTA database.