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Am J Surg Pathol. 1992 Jul;16(7):641-9.

Human papillomaviruses associated with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. Great diversity and distinct distribution in low- and high-grade lesions.

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  • 1Unité des Papillomavirus, INSERM U190, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


All together, 30 genital human papillomavirus (HPV) types have been characterized so far. To evaluate the importance of HPV diversity in associated cervical diseases, we analyzed 188 biopsy specimens obtained from patients with a recent diagnosis of cervical HPV infection or intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN). Of these 188 specimens, 116 were classified as low-grade CIN (48 cases), high-grade CIN (53 cases), condylomata acuminata (10 cases), flat condylomas (five cases). Seventy-two specimens were considered nondiagnostic. Using probes specific for 18 genital HPV types, HPV DNA sequences were detected by Southern blot hybridization in 100 lesions and 21 nondiagnostic specimens. When further analyzed by the polymerase chain reaction, eight HPV-negative biopsy specimens, four CIN, and four nondiagnostic specimens were positive. Of the 129 positive biopsy specimens, 92 contained at least one of 18 known HPV types and 37 HPV that have not yet been identified. Nine specimens had more than one type. Thirteen HPV types were identified in CIN. The detection rate of HPV 16 increased from 21% in low-grade CIN to 57% in high-grade CIN. HPV 18 was detected in only 3% of CIN; HPV 31, 33, and 35 were found in 8%. HPV 30, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, and 61 were detected in 44% of low-grade CIN but in only 8% of high-grade CIN. Unidentified HPV were detected in about 25% of low-grade and high-grade CIN. Fifty-seven CIN positive for at least one HPV type were further analyzed by in situ hybridization. Thirty-five (65%) biopsy specimens were positive, including 21 of 24 low-grade CIN and 14 of 33 high-grade CIN. Ten of the 13 previously identified HPV types were detected. Thus, CIN represents an heterogeneous disease from a virologic viewpoint. This fact could explain their variable clinical evolution.

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