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J Clin Microbiol. 2012 Jun;50(6):2129-31. doi: 10.1128/JCM.06719-11. Epub 2012 Mar 21.

Effect of glacial acetic acid treatment of liquid-based cytology collections on performance of Cervista HPV HR for detection of high-risk human papillomavirus.

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  • 1Wheaton Franciscan Laboratory, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA. Erik.Munson@wfhc.org


Inadequate cervical cytological analysis can be facilitated by glacial acetic acid (GAA) treatment of primary liquid-based collections to remove mucus, erythrocytes, inflammatory cells, and cellular debris. In the context of a commercial human papillomavirus (HPV) hybridization assay performed on 465 tandem specimens with and without GAA treatment, we show that GAA treatment significantly reduces genomic DNA content (P < 0.0001) and creates an increased potential for indeterminate and false-negative results. In the context of cytological workflow, laboratories should consider providing a specimen aliquot for HPV DNA detection prior to GAA treatment.

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