Combining human papillomavirus testing or cervicography with cytology to detect cervical neoplasia. Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • CONTEXT: Cervicography and oncogenic human papillomavirus (HPV) testing have been proposed for improving the accuracy of cervical cancer screening. OBJECTIVE: To examine whether cervicography and HPV testing can improve beyond chance the detection of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 2 or 3 in women with atypical cells of undetermined significance or low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions on cytology. DESIGN: Cross-sectional analysis. Oncogenic HPV testing by Hybrid Capture II assay or cervicography combined with cytology was compared with the reference standard of colposcopy with directed biopsy. SETTING: Community family practices. PARTICIPANTS: Three hundred four women with low-grade cytologic abnormality. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The gain in accuracy for detecting histologic CIN 2 or 3 or carcinoma. Because an adjunct test may improve sensitivity by chance alone, the sensitivity or specificity if the second test performed randomly was estimated. RESULTS: Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2 or 3 was found in 11.8% (36/304) of the women and invasive squamous cell carcinoma in 0.3% (1/304). The sensitivity of cytology for detecting CIN 2 or 3 was 73.0% and increased by 21.6% to 94.6% with the addition of a cervigram showing a low-grade lesion or higher or a positive HPV test result. These gains were reduced to 8.1% and 10.8% above the sensitivities expected if the additional tests performed randomly. The corresponding specificities decreased from 49.1% to 32.2% and 33.0%. There was insufficient power to determine whether observed sensitivities were statistically significantly higher than the expected sensitivities. CONCLUSION: Adjunctive HPV testing or cervicography may provide similar gains in sensitivity, but they can appear misleadingly large if chance increases are not taken into account.

publication date

  • November 2004

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