Comparison of two tests for detecting carcinogenic HPV in women with papanicolaou smear reports of ASCUS and LSIL

Daron G. Ferris, Thomas C. Wright, Mark S. Litaker, Ralph M. Richart, Attila T. Lorincz, Xaio Wei Sun, Lisa Woodward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. The detection of cancer-associated types of human papillomavirus (HPV) in cervical specimens predicts the presence and future development of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). The purposes of this study were (1) to determine the efficacy of a second-generation assay by hybrid capture (HC II) to detect carcinogenic HPV from residual cervical cells of a liquid-based cervical cytologic specimen, and (2) to compare the performance of this second-generation test with the first-generation hybrid capture (HCT) HPV test of material from direct cervical sampling to detect CIN in women with atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS) and low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL) Papanicolaou (Pap) smear reports. METHODS. Women with a recent Pap smear report of ASCUS or LSIL had a sampling of the cervix using either an Ayre's spatula and cytobrush or an Accellon device sampling for liquid-based cytologic system HC II HPV testing, followed by a Dacron swab sampling of the cervix for standard HCT HPV testing of the paired specimens. All women received colposcopy examinations including cervical biopsy and endocervical curettage, when indicated, to determine criterion standards for comparison. RESULTS. Paired swabs and liquid-based cervical specimens from 242 women were available for testing by standard HCT and the newer HC II HPV DNA assays. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values for detecting CIN grade 2 or 3 (CIN 2/3) were 61.9%, 57.0%, 12.0%, and 94.0%, respectively, for the HCT test, and 90.5%, 29.4%, 10.9%, and 97.0%, respectively, for the liquid-based cytology HC II assay. When only women with an initial ASCUS Pap smear report were considered, the HC II test results were 88.9%, 40.3%, 9.1%, and 98.2%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS. Testing for lower genital tract carcinogenic HPV DNA using a cervical cytology liquid transport media residual sample is clinically feasible. The new HC II microplate HPV test achieved a greater test sensitivity for detecting carcinogenic HPV and correspondingly of CIN 2/3 compared with currently available first-generation HC HPV test. Use of a liquid-based cervical cytology system combined with intermediate triage by HC II testing of residual cells for carcinogenic HPV alone may help to efficiently identify CIN 2/3 in women who have a prior screening Pap smear report of ASCUS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-141
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Family Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 1998


  • Cervical dysplasia
  • Colposcopy
  • DNA probes
  • HPV
  • Papanicolaou

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Family Practice


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