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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013 Jun;22(6):1095-101. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-12-1455. Epub 2013 Apr 19.

Risk of precancer determined by HPV genotype combinations in women with minor cytologic abnormalities.

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Divisions of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics and Cancer Prevention National Cancer Institute, Department of Health and Human Services, NIH, Bethesda, MD 20852, USA.



Studies suggest that testing for individual human papillomavirus (HPV) genotypes can improve risk stratification in women with minor cytologic abnormalities. We evaluated genotyping for HPV16, HPV16/18, and HPV16/18/45 in carcinogenic HPV-positive women with atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS) and low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL) cytology.


For women enrolled in the ASCUS-LSIL Triage Study (ALTS), we calculated the age-stratified (<30 and 30+ years) positivity and cumulative risk over two years of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 3 or worse (CIN3+) when testing positive or negative for three genotype combinations: HPV16, HPV16/18, and HPV16/18/45.


Among women with ASCUS cytology, HPV16 positivity was 17.1% and increased to 22.0% (P < 0.001) for HPV16/18 and 25.6% (P < 0.001) for HPV16/18/45. Among women with LSIL cytology, HPV16 positivity was 21.1% and increased to 30.0% (P < 0.001) for HPV16/18 and 34.0% (P = 0.017) for HPV16/18/45. Regardless of cytology and age group, the greatest risk difference between test positives and test negatives was observed for HPV16 with decreasing risk stratification for HPV16/18 and HPV16/18/45. However, testing negative for any of the three combinations while being positive for another carcinogenic type still implied a two-year risk of CIN3+ of 7.8% or more.


Although genotyping for HPV16, 18, and 45 provided additional risk stratification in carcinogenic HPV-positive women with minor cytologic abnormalities, the risk among genotype-negative women was still high enough to warrant immediate colposcopy referral.


HPV genotyping in HPV-positive women with minor cytologic abnormalities will likely not alter clinical management. Adding HPV45 to genotyping assays is not warranted.

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