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Int J Cancer. 2007 Apr 1;120(7):1505-10.

Human papillomavirus testing on self-sampled cervicovaginal brushes: an effective alternative to protect nonresponders in cervical screening programs.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


Women not attending cervical screening programs are at increased risk of cervical cancer. We investigated in these nonresponders to what extent offering self-sampling devices for cervicovaginal brushes for high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) testing would induce participation and, if so, what the yield of precursor (i.e. CIN2 or worse) lesions following self-sampling would be. In addition, we assessed screening history of participants and costs per detected high-grade CIN2 or worse ("CIN2+") lesion in comparison to the regular program in the Netherlands. Nonresponders received a device for hrHPV testing (self-sampling group, n=2,546) or an extra recall for conventional cytology (control group, n=284). The percentage of self-sampling responders were compared with responders in the recall group. hrHPV positive self-sampling responders were invited for cytology and colposcopy. CIN2+ yield and costs per detected CIN2+ were evaluated. Active response was higher in the self-sampling than in the control group (34.2 vs. 17.6%; p<0.001). hrHPV positive self-sampling responders were less likely to have a prior screening history than screening participants (p<0.001), indicating that they are regular nonresponders. hrHPV prevalence was similar (8.0 vs. 6.8%; p=0.11), but CIN2+ yield was higher in self-sampling responders compared to screening participants (1.67 vs. 0.97%; OR=2.93, 95% CI 1.48-5.80; p=0.0013). Costs per CIN2+ lesion detected via self-sampling were in the same range as those calculated for conventional cytological screening (euro 8,836 vs. euro 7,599). Offering self-sampling for hrHPV testing in nonresponders is an attractive adjunct to effectively increase population coverage of screening without the adverse effect of markedly increased costs per detected CIN2+ lesion.

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