High Resolution Anoscopy (HRA) is a diagnostic tool used to evaluate patients who are considered “high risk” for anal cancer: “High risk” patients are those who have been diagnosed with an abnormal anal cytology. No other diagnostic procedure can accurately examine the anal canal for these types of issues:
During an HRA examination, the anal canal is examined using a small thin round tube called an anoscope which is connected to a high resolution magnifying instrument called a colposcope: Abnormal tissue can be identified, and a biopsy can be obtained.
HRA is performed as an outpatient procedure. It is usually very well tolerated with mild if any discomfort. Significant risks such as bleeding or infection are extremely rare. Note should be taken that HRA is very different from colonoscopy or flexible sigmoidoscopy, neither of which can adequately exam the anal canal for the problems being detected by HRA.