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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2010 Aug;134(8):1130-5. doi: 10.1043/2009-0624-OA.1.

Significance of high-risk human papillomavirus DNA detection in women 50 years and older with squamous cell papanicolaou test abnormalities.

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Department of Pathology, Magee-Womens Hospital of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.



Data on cytologic screening and follow-up disproportionately reflect findings from frequently screened younger women, and data from screened women 50 years and older using newer screening technologies remain limited.


To better understand the utility of adjunctive high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) testing for disease risk stratification in women 50 years and older with a range of liquid-based cytology, abnormal, squamous cell Papanicolaou test results.


Liquid-based cytology cases interpreted as high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL); low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL); atypical squamous cells, cannot exclude high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (ASC-H); and atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASC-US) at Magee-Womens Hospital (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) were retrospectively identified for a 36-month period between July 1, 2005, and June 30, 2008, from women 50 years and older who also had hrHPV DNA test results. Histopathologic follow-up diagnoses were analyzed.


During the study period, 4855 women 50 years and older had HSIL, LSIL, ASC-H, or ASC-US Papanicolaou test results and hrHPV testing. In 89.3% of HSIL cases, 71.0% of LSIL cases, 38.9% of ASC-H cases, and 14.2% of ASC-US cases, hrHPV test results were positive. The positive predictive value of a positive hrHPV test for histopathologic cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2/3(+) detection was 90.5% with HSIL, 15% with ASC-H, 9.8% with LSIL, and 3.2% with ASC-US. A negative hrHPV test result had a 100% negative predictive value for histopathologic cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2/3(+) in both LSIL and ASC-H cases.


In women 50 years and older, a positive hrHPV test result significantly increased the likelihood of follow-up histopathologic diagnoses of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2 /3(+) in patients with HSIL, LSIL, and ASC-H Papanicolaou test results compared with women with negative hrHPV test results. No cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 2/3(+) diagnoses were documented in women 50 years and older with LSIL or ASC-H Papanicolaou test results and negative hrHPV test results.

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