Colposcopy can be used with Electrical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) as an adjunct, to assess the presence of High Grade Cervical Intra-epithelial Neoplasia (CIN2+). This analysis of longitudinal data has used the results from women with a negative colposcopy, in order to see if the initial (index) EIS results were able to predict the women who subsequently developed CIN2+. A further objective was to investigate what tissue structural changes might be reflected in the electrical impedance spectra.
847 patients were referred with low grade cytologly. EIS measurements were made around the transformation zone of the cervix during colposcopy. Every EIS spectrum was matched to a template representing CIN2+ and the result was positive if the match exceeded a probability index threshold. The colposcopic impression was also recorded. All the women who developed biopsy proven CIN2+ within three years of the index colposcopy were identified.
The median follow-up was 30.5 months. Where both CI and EIS were initially positive, there was an increased prevalence (8.13%) of CIN2+ developing as opposed to 3.45% in the remaining patients (p=0.0159). In addition, if three or more EIS spectra were positive there was a higher prevalence (9.62% as opposed to 3.56% p=0.0132) of CIN2+ at three years. The index spectra recorded from the women who developed CIN2+ showed EIS changes consistent with increases in the extracellular volume and in cell size inhomogeneity.
EIS does offer prognostic information on the risk of CIN2+ developing over the three-year period following the EIS measurements. The changes in EIS spectra are consistent with an increase in cell size diversity as pre-malignancy develops. These changes may be a consequence of increased genetic diversity as neoplasia develops.