Digital assessment of the reproductive tract (DART)
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
Colposcopy; Digital imaging; Microbicide
As the AIDS epidemic grows through heterosexual transmission, the development of women-controlled methods for defence against sexually transmitted infections and HIV, such as vaginally applied microbicides, is increasingly important. As part of the evaluation of the safety of all new topical microbicides, an evaluation of the cervix and vagina for any physical or mechanical effects of a potential agent is imperative. Traditionally, colposcopy has been used for such an evaluation. We introduce the concept of using a digital camera to assess the reproductive tract as a practical and effective means for studying the effects of microbicides on the vaginal and cervical epithelium. As much research on microbicides will be undertaken in areas with limited resources, digital assessment of the reproductive tract offers the advantage of portability, ease of use, durability, and accessibility. In addition, it allows digital data storage that can be used to review images, allow quality control, and provide an effective means to compare changes over time.
Jamshidi, R., & Blumenthal, P. (2004). Digital assessment of the reproductive tract (DART). Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, 37 (SUPPL. 3). http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00126334-200410013-00007