Acetic acid test
When is this exam indicated?
It is used to make an early diagnosis and treatment of human papilloma virus (HPV) infection of the mucous membranes in order to limit the infection and local spread. It allows to make a differential diagnosis with other genital diseases such as lichen, molluscum, psoriasis, etc.
How is it performed?
The genital area is wrapped for a few minutes with gauze soaked in a diluted solution of acetic acid 5%.
The acetic acid has the purpose of highlighting areas in which there is a high presence of cell nuclei and proteins, a symptom of increased cell replication activity. The white coloration of the area, of varying thickness (aceto-clear area), on which can be identified encoded geometric figures (dotted or mosaic), which delimit a real lesion. The effect of this reagent is obtained in about 10-15 seconds and is rapid.
In case of doubt, the diagnosis can be further investigated by performing a small biopsy of one of these areas.
Not advisable in case of acetic acid allergy.