Aptima HPV E6/E7 mRNA Test Is as Sensitive as Hybrid Capture 2 Assay but More Specific at Detecting Cervical Precancer and Cancer
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Detection of human papillomavirus (HPV) E6/E7 oncogene expression may be more predictive of cervical cancer risk than testing for HPV DNA. The Aptima HPV test (Gen-Probe) detects E6/E7 mRNA of 14 oncogenic types. Its clinical performance was compared with that of the Hybrid Capture 2 DNA test (HC2; Qiagen) in women referred for colposcopy and those routinely screened. Aptima was also compared with the PreTect HPV-Proofer E6/E7 mRNA assay (Proofer; Norchip) in the referral population. Cervical specimens collected in PreservCyt (Hologic Inc.) were processed for HPV detection and genotyping with the Linear Array (LA) method (Roche Molecular Diagnostics, Laval, Quebec, Canada). Histology-confirmed high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN 2) or worse (CIN 2+) served as the disease endpoint. On the basis of 1,418 referral cases (CIN 2+, n = 401), the sensitivity of Aptima was 96.3% (95% confidence interval [CI], 94.4, 98.2), whereas it was 94.3% (95% CI, 92.0, 96.6) for HC2. The specificities were 43.2% (95% CI, 40.2, 46.2) and 38.7% (95% CI, 35.7, 41.7), respectively (P < 0.05). In 1,373 women undergoing routine screening (CIN 2+, n = 7), both Aptima and HC2 showed 100% sensitivity, and the specificities were 88.3% (95% CI, 86.6, 90.0) and 85.3% (95% CI, 83.5, 87.3), respectively (P < 0.05); for women ≥ 30 years of age (n = 845), the specificities were 93.9% (95% CI, 92.3, 95.5) and 92.1% (95% CI, 90.3, 93.9), respectively (P < 0.05). On the basis of 818 referral cases (CIN 2+, n = 235), the sensitivity of Aptima was 94.9% (95% CI, 92.1, 97.7) and that of Proofer was 79.1% (95% CI, 73.9, 84.3), and the specificities were 45.8% (95% CI, 41.8, 49.8) and 75.1% (95% CI, 71.6, 78.6), respectively (P < 0.05). Both Aptima and Proofer showed a higher degree of agreement with LA genotyping than HC2. In conclusion, the Aptima test is as sensitive as HC2 but more specific for detecting CIN 2+ and can serve as a reliable test for both primary cervical cancer screening and the triage of borderline cytological abnormalities.
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