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J Clin Microbiol. 2012 Jul;50(7):2390-6. doi: 10.1128/JCM.06587-11. Epub 2012 May 2.

High-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) E6/E7 mRNA testing by PreTect HPV-Proofer for detection of cervical high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia and cancer among hrHPV DNA-positive women with normal cytology.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Our aim was to investigate whether high-risk HPV (hrHPV) mRNA detection by PreTect HPV-Proofer can be used to stratify hrHPV DNA-positive women of different cytology classes for risk of high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia or worse (cervical precancer or cancer, i.e., cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or higher [≥ CIN2]). A total of 375 women participating in population-based screening, with a GP5+/6+-PCR hrHPV DNA-positive cervical scrape with normal cytology (n = 202), borderline or mild dyskaryosis (BMD) (n = 88), or moderate dyskaryosis or worse (>BMD) (n = 85), were enrolled. Cervical scrapes were additionally subjected to HPV16/18/31/33/45 E6/E7 mRNA analysis by PreTect HPV-Proofer (mRNA test). Referral and follow-up policies were based on cytology, hrHPV DNA, and mRNA testing. The primary study endpoint was the number of ≥CIN2 detected within 3 years of follow-up. The mRNA positivity increased with the severity of cytological abnormality, ranging from 32% (64/202) in hrHPV DNA-positive women with normal cytology to 47% (41/88) in BMD and 68% (58/85) in >BMD groups (P < 0.01). Women with ≥ CIN2 were more likely to test positive by mRNA test (63%) than women without evidence of ≥ CIN2 (32%; P < 0.01). A positive mRNA test result conferred an increased ≥ CIN2 risk in hrHPV DNA-positive women with normal cytology, i.e., 0.55 (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.34 to 0.76) in mRNA-positive versus 0.20 (95% CI, 0.07 to 0.33) in mRNA-negative women. In hrHPV DNA-positive women with BMD or >BMD, the result of the mRNA test did not influence the ≥ CIN2 risk. In conclusion, mRNA testing by PreTect HPV-Proofer might be of value to select hrHPV DNA-positive women with normal cytology in need of immediate referral for colposcopy.

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