Can Human Papillomavirus DNA Testing Substitute for Cytology in the Detection of High-Grade Cervical Lesions?

Kyung Ju Lee, Jae Kwan Lee, Ho Suk Saw

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    Context.-High-risk human papillomaviruses (HPVS) are causal factors of cervical carcinomas. Objective.-To evaluate the sensitivity and efficiency of HPV DNA testing in comparison with conventional cytology for detection of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) and cancer. Design.-Both testing procedures were administered to 593 women, aged 14 to 88 years (average, 41.7 years), who were referred for abnormal cytology from January 2000 through December 2001 at Korea University Guro Hospital (Seoul, Korea). After histologic confirmation by either colposcopically directed biopsy or endocervical curettage, the efficiency of the detection methods for high-grade cervical lesion was evaluated for the following 3 data sets: HPV DNA testing, conventional cytology, and the 2 tests combined. Results.-The sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive, and negative predictive values for the detection of CIN 2 or higher were 92.4%, 52.4%, 49.3%, and 93.2% for HPV DNA testing; 76.3%, 65.8%, 52.8%, and 84.7% for cytology; and 97.8%, 36.7%, 49.2%, and 97.3% for the combined tests. Among the 151 patients diagnosed with CIN 2 or CIN 3, 137 patients (90.7%) were HPV positive, 116 patients (76.8%) were proven to have abnormal cytology, and 147 patients (97.6%) were positive for either HPV DNA testing or cytology. The sensitivity values for HPV DNA testing and cytology were 97.9% (46/47) and 74.5% (35/47), respectively, for invasive cervical cancer detection, and the combined tests showed 100% (47/47) sensitivity. Depending on the patient's age and the grade of the cervical lesion, HPV DNA testing proved to be significantly more sensitive than cytology for the primary detection of cervical abnormalities (P < .001). Conclusion.-Human papillomavirus DNA testing for the detection of high-grade cervical lesions was more sensitive than cytology alone. In addition, the screening sensitivity can be further improved by combining cytology with HPV DNA testing. This approach is especially beneficial in detecting cancer precursors in women older than 60 years.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)298-302
    Number of pages5
    JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2004 Mar

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
    • Medical Laboratory Technology


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