Polarized Light Colposcopy Compared with Standard Colposcopy

Daron G. Ferris, Wendy Shulay Guevara Condorhuaman, Jennifer L. Waller, Lynn Allmond, Angela Goebel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the potential benefits of polarized light colposcopy compared with standard colposcopy examinations in the evaluation of women with abnormal cervical cytology. Materials and Methods: Polarized and standard colposcopy examinations were performed on 330 subjects. Respective images and biopsy annotations were obtained. Sensitivity and specificity; differences in the severity of cervical neoplasia; agreement of colposcopy impression, biopsy intent, and biopsy site; and differences in the number of biopsies were determined using the ROC, Bowker's test of symmetry, kappa statistic, and paired t test, respectively. Results: The sensitivity and specificity for a lesion being seen with nonpolarized light and polarized light colposcopy were 96.8% and 64.5%, and 96.8% and 64.9%, respectively. There was no statistically significant difference in the ROC of the lesion being seen between nonpolarized (80.7) and polarized (80.9) colposcopy. Likewise, there was no statistically significant difference in the ROC of intent to biopsy between nonpolarized (80.2) and polarized colposcopy (78.8). The agreement of cervical histopathology and colposcopy impression for nonpolarized and polarized colposcopy were 0.986 and 0.952, respectively. There was no significant difference between nonpolarized and polarized colposcopy in the mean number of lesions seen or number of sites intended to biopsy. Conclusions: Polarized light colposcopy was not useful as an adjunct to conventional colposcopy in this study. Further research needs to be performed to determine the overall utility of polarized light colposcopy in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-238
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Lower Genital Tract Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 26 2015


  • cervical neoplasia
  • colposcopy
  • colposcopy adjunct
  • cross polarization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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