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Cytopathology. 2005 Feb;16(1):22-6.

HPV triage of women with atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance: a 3-year experience in an Italian organized programme.

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  • 1Anatomia ed Istologia Patologica, Ospedale S. Chiara, Trento, Italy.



The purpose of our study was to determine if Hybrid Capture II assay (HCII) on Liquid Based Cytology (LCB) improves the accuracy (higher sensitivity, similar specificity) than the repeat conventional Pap smear in smears with Atypical Squamous Cell (ASC) of Undetermined Significance diagnosis.


HPV testing was used to manage women, especially the older ones, with cervical abnormalities detected through our triennial organized screening in order to avoid unnecessary colposcopy and excessive follow-up if the woman is HPV negative. The HPV DNA Triage was offered without any charge to 909 women with ASC. The Bethesda System was used for the classification of these equivocal cytological findings and more precisely the 1991 version (ASCUS) until the summer 2001 (315 cases) and the new one 2001 classification (ASC-US and ASC-H) after this date (594 cases). The presence or absence of a cervical intraepithelial neoplasia of grade I or worse [CIN1+], and of grade II or worse [CIN2+], was confirmed by biopsy.


The HPV DNA Triage showed a good accuracy (specificity over 94%, sensitivity of 37% and PPV for CIN2+ lesions around 30%). The higher values of ASC-H lesions (.462) for the sensitivity for CIN 2+ probably signify that this lesion is already a SIL.


Our data were comparable with those recently published on the meta-analysis by Arbyn et al., confirming the promising approach of our guidelines for the treatment of these patients even in terms of Health Technology Assessment (HTA).

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