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Cancer. 2008 Dec 25;114(6):489-93. doi: 10.1002/cncr.23947.

Detection of human papillomavirus infection in penile samples through liquid-based cytology and polymerase chain reaction.

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  • 1Department of Clinical and Toxicology Analyses, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil.



The human papillomavirus (HPV) is strongly related to cervical cancer and its precursor lesions. However, unlike in the case of women, there are limited data regarding HPV infection in men. Analysis of male HPV infection is frequently hindered by the lack of consistency in collection methods, sample adequacy, and low sensitivity of cytologic analysis.


The objective of the current study was to compare the results of liquid-based cytology and HPV DNA testing through polymerase chain reaction in 99 penile samples collected from men presenting with condyloma acuminate or male partners of HPV-infected women who had attended a public health service in the city of Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Classic and nonclassic cytomorphologic signs were adopted to evaluate the presence of HPV infections in penile smears.


HPV DNA was detected in 93 (93.9%) of the 99 samples analyzed. Koilocytosis was detected in 1 smear and nonclassic signs were detected in 23 smears, 22 of which were found to be positive for HPV DNA.


The cytopathologic detection of HPV infection in penile samples collected for liquid-based cytology is low, even when cytologic nonclassic signs are applied, and does not appear to improve the diagnosis of HPV infection in men.

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