Cervical lesion proportion measure using a digital gridded imaging technique to assess cervical pathology in women with genital schistosomiasis

Louise Thomsen Schmidt Arenholt, Katrina Kaestel Aaroe, Kanutte Norderud, Mads Lumholdt, Bodo Sahondra Randrianasolo, Charles Emile Ramarokoto, Oliva Rabozakandraina, Dorthe Broennum, Hermann Feldmeier, Peter Derek Christian Leutscher*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Female genital schistosomiasis (FGS) is characterized by a pattern of lesions which manifest at the cervix and the vagina, such as homogeneous and grainy sandy patches, rubbery papules in addition to neovascularization. A tool for quantification of the lesions is needed to improve FGS research and control programs. Hitherto, no tools are available to quantify clinical pathology at the cervix in a standardized and reproducible manner. This study aimed to develop and validate a cervical lesion proportion (CLP) measure for quantification of cervical pathology in FGS. A digital imaging technique was applied in which a grid containing 424 identical squares was positioned on high resolution digital images from the cervix of 70 women with FGS. CLP was measured for each image by observers counting the total number of squares containing at least one type of FGS associated lesion. For assessment of inter-and intra-observer reliability, three different observers measured CLP independently. In addition, a rubbery papule count (RPC) was determined in a similar manner. The intra-class correlation coefficient was 0.94 (excellent) for the CLP interrater reliability and 0.90 (good) for intra-rater reliability and the coefficients for the RPC were 0.88 and 0.80 (good), respectively. The CLP facilitated a reliable and reproducible quantification of FGS associated lesions of the cervix. In the future, grading of cervical pathology by CLP may provide insight into the natural course of schistosome egg-induced pathology of the cervix and may have a role in assessing praziquantel treatment efficacy against FGS. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, trial number NCT04115072; trial URL https:// clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04115072?term=Female+genital+schistosomiasis+AND +Madagascar&draw=2&rank=1.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0009995
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Issue number7
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Arenholt et al.


  • Animals
  • Cervix Uteri/diagnostic imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Schistosoma haematobium
  • Schistosomiasis haematobia/diagnostic imaging
  • Vagina/pathology


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