Cervical self-sampling yields useful cytology

Karin J Denton
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2020 July 1
Effective Cervical screening involves a complex sequence of interactions between women, clinical staff and systems. Even in well organised screening programmes, achieving high population coverage is challenging. The transition to using Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) testing as the primary screening modality, rather than cytology, has introduced the possibility of using a self-collected sample for the primary HPV test. This has been shown to be a reliable method of detecting CIN2+ (Polman et al, Lancet Oncology 2019;20(2):229-38). Regardless of the way the sample is collected, the low specificity of a positive HPV test means that positive results must be triaged. In all cases where self-sampling has been integrated into a cervical screening programme to date, this triage is by cytology on a subsequent, clinician taken sample. Other molecular tests which can be performed on the original sample may in the future be an alternative, but are not yet fully evaluated.

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