Schiller's iodine solution is applied to the cervix under direct vision. Normal cervical mucosa contains glycogen and stains brown, whereas abnormal areas, such as early cervical cancer, do not take up the stain. The abnormal areas can then be biopsied and examined histologically. The composition of Schiller's iodine is the same as Lugol's iodine, the latter being more concentrated. When Schiller's iodine is not available, Lugol's iodine can be used as an alternative.
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