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Gynecol Oncol. 2011 Apr;121(1):49-53. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2010.12.002. Epub 2010 Dec 30.

High-risk human papillomavirus DNA test and p16(INK4a) in the triage of LSIL: a prospective diagnostic study.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospitals of South Manchester, Manchester, UK.



The detection of high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) amongst patients with low-grade cytology (LSIL) is challenging. This study evaluated the role of high-risk HPV (HR-HPV) DNA test and p16(INK4a) immunostaining in identifying women with LSIL cytology at risk of harboring CIN2 or worse (CIN2+) and the role of p16(INK4a) in the triage of a population of HR-HPV positive LSIL.


We conducted a prospective study including women with LSIL cytology. Detection of HR-HPV was carried out by means of a polymerase chain reaction based assay. p16(INK4a) immunostaining was performed using the Dako CINtec cytology kit. All patients had colposcopically directed punch biopsies or large loop excision of the transformation zone of the cervix. The endpoint was detection of a biopsy-confirmed CIN2+.


A series of 126 women with LSIL cytology were included. HR-HPV test had sensitivity 75% and specificity 64% for an endpoint of CIN2+. p16(INK4a) had significantly higher specificity of 89% (p=0.0000) but low sensitivity of 42%. The role of p16(INK4a) immunostaining in the triage of LSIL positive for HR-HPV was also evaluated. p16(INK4a) triage had 70% positive predictive value (PPV); however, this was not significantly higher than the PPV (56%) of HR-HPV test alone (p=0.4).


The results indicate that HR-HPV or p16(INK4a) cannot be used as solitary markers for the assessment of LSIL. The addition of p16(INK4a) immunostaining led to an increase in HR-HPV specificity; however, the biomarker needs to be assessed further to establish its role as an adjunct test in the triage of LSIL.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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