Is Proflavine Exposure Associated with Disease Progression in Women with Cervical Dysplasia? A Brief Report

Naitielle Pantano, Brady Hunt, Richard A. Schwarz, Sonia Parra, Katelin Cherry, Júlio César Possati-Resende, Adhemar Longatto-Filho, José Humberto Tavares Guerreiro Fregnani, Philip E. Castle, Kathleen Schmeler, Rebecca Richards-Kortum

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Proflavine is an acridine dye used with high-resolution microendoscopy for in vivo diagnostic evaluation of cervical epithelial cells. However, there are concerns that even short-term exposure of cervical tissue to dilute proflavine may increase cervical cancer risk. We performed a retrospective analysis of women referred for colposcopy to Barretos Cancer Hospital comparing the risk of cervical disease progression in those whose cervical tissue was (n = 232) or was not exposed (n = 160) to proflavine. Patients in both groups underwent treatment and follow-up based on histopathologic results and per the local standards of care. Progression of disease was evaluated by comparing histopathology from the initial visit to the worst subsequent histopathology result from all follow-up visits. Mean duration of follow-up was 18.7 and 20.1 months for the proflavine-exposed and controls groups, respectively. There were no significant differences in disease progression from normal/CIN1 to CIN2/3 or from any initial diagnosis to invasive cancer between the proflavine exposed and control groups overall. Risks of cervical dysplasia progression observed in this study are in agreement with those of the natural history of cervical cancer. Our results suggest that cervical exposure to dilute proflavine does not increase the risk of cervical precancer and cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1308-1313
Number of pages6
JournalPhotochemistry and Photobiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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