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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2008 Dec;132(12):1874-81. doi: 10.1043/1543-2165-132.12.1874.

Adjunctive human papillomavirus DNA testing is a useful option in some clinical settings for disease risk assessment and triage of females with ASC-H Papanicolaou test results.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Magee-Womens Hospital, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.

Erratum in

  • Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2009 Feb;133(2):175.



Recent guidelines recommend colposcopy for women with atypical squamous cells, cannot exclude high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (ASC-H). objective: To determine whether adjunctive high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) testing is useful for disease risk assessment in females with ASC-H Papanicolaou (Pap) test results.


High-risk HPV prevalence and histopathologic follow-up data on 1187 females with ASC-H ThinPrep Pap test (TPPT) and hrHPV test results were analyzed.


ASC-H was reported in 1646 (0.59%) [corrected] of 277 400 (270 338 TPPT and 7062 conventional) Pap test results. The difference in ASC-H detection rates between TPPTs and conventional Pap smears was statistically significant (0.60% vs 0.38%; P = .02). High-risk HPV was detected in 589 (49.6%) of 1187 females with ASC-H TPPT and hrHPV testing. The hrHPV DNA-positive rate in females younger than 40 years was 54.7%, significantly higher than the 36.5% in women 40 years and older. Among 505 females with histopathologic follow-up, cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2/3 was identified in 32.7% of hrHPV-positive females compared with 1.2% in hrHPV-negative females. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of ASC-H cytology in conjunction with hrHPV DNA testing results for detection of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2/3 were 96.1% versus 100.0%, 54.0% versus 68.4%, 35.8% versus 20.8%, and 98.1% versus 100.0% in females younger than 40 years and women 40 years and older, respectively.


Our data suggest that reflex hrHPV testing is a highly useful option for women with ASC-H Pap tests. Females with ASC-H and negative hrHPV testing may be more efficiently managed by follow-up with regular Pap and hrHPV testing rather than universal colposcopy, especially for women 40 years and older.

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