Tuesday, August 8, 2017

New fabric-based Cervical Biopsy device improves quality and minimizes patient discomfort

Courtesy: Dr.Justin T. Diedrich
A new fabric based cervical biopsy device manufactured by Histologics LLC, a company that innovates different approaches to tissue sampling, can collect a endocervical tissue sample for histopathological examination with minimum discomfort to patients and yielding better results.

Till now, the standard procedure to collect the tissue sample after a lesion is suspected on colposcopy is by a metal device. The metal hook does not remove that much tissue sample and causes discomfort to patients.

Justin T. Diedrich, M.D., a clinical faculty member in the School of Medicine at the University of California, who has tested the device in a clinical trial said, “The new device, on the other hand, is not sharp and removes the appropriate amount of cells while minimizing discomfort. Because the biopsy gets more tissue, it is able to find more precancerous cells. This could be the difference between intervening early before someone develops cancer and waiting until it has grown larger.”

This is the first device to evaluate the endocervix by a minimally-invasive office procedure.

The study was published in July issue of Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease. The study compared samples collected by conventional endocervical curettage (ECC) vs samples collected by fabric-based ECC by physician groups. Using fabric based ECC yielded more satisfactory samples (91.1% vs 84.6%) at the same time collected fewer inadequate specimens (4.2% vs 0.6%, p < .001).

This means that less patients have to come back for a repeat biopsy and more chances of finding precancerous cells.

The ergonomically designed fabric hook flexes downward as soon as it is pressed against the tissue and exposes the hook tip, that scoops the sample and rotate back.

The sampling system consists of two componenets; a diamond shaped pad biopsy device and a tissue containment detachable tip for storage and transport to the lab.

The colposcopist physician is not required to handle the specimen directly. Once an adequate sample is obtained, simply snap off the device head from the shaft of the device at the scored area. The tip is now placed it in the fixative vial provided by the laboratory and seal it tightly.

The  tip in fixative vial along with tissue sample
“Innovation can make medicine work better and more efficiently,” Diedrich said. “In this case, innovation is making colposcopy less painful, gets a larger biopsy, and improves the detection of abnormal cells.”

Here is a complete video by Histologics about the soft ECC procedure



  1. Most of us at India are used to do “Punch biopsy” with the help of a traditional punch forceps.
    The piece of cervical tissue removed by sharp PUNCH - is quite deep and honestly speaking about 5-7 % of such biopsied cases one is compelled to put a stitch realizing that the gauze pack alone will be unable to control bleeding at home.

    Roller gauze pack may not be sufficient as most of the procedures of biopsy are undertaken as office procedure. To add to the malady of “PUNCH “–at about 2% of such women who underwent punch biopsy procedure has to be admitted in emergency for considerable bleeding once the pack is removed at home. And we have, admittedly rarely either have to repack to control bleeding or say put one two Vicryl stitches on the lateral aspect of Cx to compress the descending Cx arteries. I hope this new procedure will solve the sufferings and side effects of traditional use of PUNCH.
    Additionally the very procedure of ECC was, so far at Kolkata was concerned was poor by using scope spatula. Hope this technology will improve the detection rate and guide us to formulate appropriate plan of Treatment.

    1. Thanks, Dr Pal. I hope the new procedure is soon put into practice and improve detection and minimizing patient discomfort.