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Am J Clin Pathol. 2006 Feb;125(2):223-8.

Characteristics of apparently false-negative digene hybrid capture 2 high-risk HPV DNA testing.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University Health Network, and Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, the University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.


This study characterized cases with a negative high-risk Hybrid Capture 2 (HRHC2; Digene, Gaithersburg, MD) test result with concurrent or follow-up biopsy-confirmed high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN 2/3). From 2,306 HRHC2 tests, 10 negative results were identified with CIN 2/3 (false-negative rate, 4.5%). The majority of the patients had abnormal colposcopic findings and high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL) shown by concurrent cytologic examination, although with few abnormal cells. No trend was evident in the location of the dysplastic epithelium or overall lesion size. In 4 tests, the relative light units over cutoff was more than 0.4 but less than 1.0, suggesting that low quantities of human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA were present in the sample. The negative predictive value for HRHC2 testing may be compromised when the copy number of the HPV DNA is low, and a negative HRHC2 test result may be falsely negative in patients with abnormal colposcopic findings or concurrent cytologic findings showing HSIL.

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