Contribution of human papillomavirus testing by hybrid capture in the triage of women with repeated abnormal pap smears before colposcopy referral

G Fait, M J Kupferminc, Y Daniel, E Geva, I G Ron, J B Lessing, A Bar-Am
Gynecologic Oncology 2000, 79 (2): 177-80

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this work was to evaluate the ability of testing for high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) types using the hybrid capture technique to predict the presence of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) II,III in patients with repeated atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS) and low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LGSIL) on Pap smears.

METHODS: Hybrid capture testing and tissue biopsy were performed on 503 consecutive women with ASCUS or LGSIL on repeated Pap smears who were referred for colposcopy.

RESULTS: A highly significant association (P < 0.0001) was found between a positive test for high-risk HPV types and CIN II,III, with an 87.0% positive predictive value and a 95.7% negative predictive value. In 226 women with ASCUS on repeated Pap smears, a positive test for high-risk HPV types had a 85.7% sensitivity and a 97% specificity for CIN II,III. In 277 patients with LGSIL on repeated Pap smears, a positive test for high-risk HPV types had an 88.2% sensitivity and a 94.7% specificity for CIN I,II. Reserving colposcopy examination for women who were positive for high-risk HPV types would have reduced the number of referrals for colposcopy to 24.6% and maintained a sensitivity of 87.0% for CIN II,III.

CONCLUSIONS: A positive hybrid capture test for high-risk HPV types was highly sensitive and specific for the presence of CIN II,III in patients with ASCUS and LGSIL on repeated Pap smears. We believe that improved methodology will eventually enable more selective colposcopy referrals without affecting patient safety among these women.

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