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Acceptability of high-resolution anoscopy for anal cancer screening in HIV-infected patients

HIV-infected individuals are at increased risk of anal cancer. Screening for anal cancer precursors using high-resolution anoscopy (HRA) may be clinically beneficial. In this study, we examined patient tolerability of this procedure. The acceptability of HRA was evaluated among HIV-infected patients who completed a first-time HRA between July 2008 and December 2013 at Kaiser Permanente Northern California. We reviewed electronic medical records to identify lack of HRA acceptability, which was defined as receipt of HRA with sedation, dispensation of opioid analgaesia, and/or an urgent care visit following HRA, and to evaluate factors associated with patients not returning for a recommended repeat HRA (proxy for HRA acceptability). HRA acceptability was also assessed via a survey mailed to patients who completed HRA between January 2014 and August 2014. Logistic regression was used to model lack of acceptability of initial HRA and likelihood of not returning for a repeat HRA. Of 1857 HIV-infected patients, 94 were prescribed opioids and one had an urgent care visit. Lack of HRA acceptability was more likely in patients with pre-existing anal conditions [e.g. warts or fissure; adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 4.02; 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.4-6.7], those who had ever smoked (aOR 1.6; 95% CI 1.0-2.5) and women (aOR 5.3; 95% CI 1.6-17.5). Fifty per cent of patients returned for a repeat HRA, with younger patients less likely to return (per 10-year age interval, aOR 0.8; 95% CI 0.7-0.9). Of 48 survey respondents, 91.7% reported acceptable pain levels and all reported willingness to return for a repeat HRA. HRA was generally well tolerated and may be an acceptable screening approach for patients at high risk of anal cancer.

Authors: Lam JO; Barnell GM; Merchant M; Ellis CG; Silverberg MJ

HIV Med. 2018 11;19(10):716-723. Epub 2018-08-06.

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