Adjunctive human papillomavirus testing in the 2-year follow-up of women with low-grade cervical cytologic abnormalities: a randomized trial and economic evaluation.
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CONTEXT: Although human papillomavirus (HPV) testing may aid in managing low-grade abnormality on screening cervical cytology, patient compliance with repeat testing programs requires consideration. OBJECTIVES: To determine effectiveness and costs of repeated Papanicolaou (Pap) test and oncogenic HPV testing for detecting cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2 or 3. DESIGN: We conducted a randomized controlled trial of combined Pap test and cervical HPV testing by Hybrid Capture 1 test compared with Pap test alone; tests were performed every 6 months for up to 2 years. The study end point was colposcopic examination performed on all women at 2 years, or earlier if an HPV test was positive or if a Pap test showed high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion. SETTING: Sixty-six community family practices. PARTICIPANTS: Two hundred fifty-seven women with atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance or low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion on screening cervical cytology. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Detection of histologically confirmed cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2 or 3, fully allocated costs, and loss to follow-up. RESULTS: Combined Pap test and HPV testing detected 11 (100%) of 11 cases of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2/3, whereas Pap test alone detected 7 (63.6%) of these 11 cases (P =.14); corresponding specificities were 39 (46.4%) of 84 and 45 (71.4%) of 63 (P =.005). The cost-effectiveness ratio was Can $4456 per additional case of high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. Sixty-nine (26.8%) of the 257 women (24.6% combined group vs 29.1% Pap test only group, P =.41) defaulted from testing or from colposcopy when referred with an abnormal result. CONCLUSIONS: Combined testing was more costly but may detect more cases of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2/3 than Pap test alone. However, poor adherence limits usefulness of a management strategy that requires repeated follow-up.
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