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Anal Quant Cytopathol Histpathol. 2013 Jun;35(3):152-6.

Hybrid capture 2 high-risk human papillomavirus test: should "grey zone" results justify repeating the test?

Author information

  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hospital Universitari del Mar, Barcelona, Spain.
  • 2Department of Pathology, Hospital Universitari del Mar, Barcelona, Spain.
  • 3Department of Pathology, Hospital Universitari Germans Trias I Pujol, Badalona, Barcelona, Spain.



To determine the clinical importance of repeating the Hybrid Capture 2 (HC2) high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) test when the result obtained falls between 2.7 and 0.8 pg/mL, the so-called "grey zone."


Repeat testing was performed on 139 thin-layer liquid-based cytology cervicovaginal samples that were found to fall in the grey zone. The samples represented a variety of cytological diagnoses. The results of both HPV HC2 tests were analyzed related to the cytological diagnosis of both the previous and the follow-up cytological samples.


The change of the HPV HC2 result from positive (2.7-1 pg/mL) to negative (< 1 pg/mL) when repeating the test is not related with the diagnosis obtained in the cytological follow-up of the patient.


The HC2 test should not be repeated when the result falls between 2.7 and 0.8 pg/mL. In these cases the result of the cytology is more relevant and should be used in the clinical assessment of the patient.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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