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J Med Screen. 2014 Mar;21(1):30-7. doi: 10.1177/0969141314522219. Epub 2014 Jan 31.

Cervical cancer screening by high risk HPV testing in routine practice: results at one year recall of high risk HPV-positive and cytology-negative women.

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Immunology and Molecular Oncology Unit, Veneto Oncology Institute IOV IRCCS, Padova, Italy.



Cervical cancer screening by human papillomavirus (HPV) testing requires the use of additional triage and follow-up analyses. We evaluated women's compliance with and the performance of this strategy in a routine setting.


Five cervical service screening programmes in North-East Italy.


Eligible women aged 25-64 invited for a new screening episode underwent HPV testing for high risk types (hrHPV by Hybrid Capture 2) and cytology triage. Women with positive HPV and cytology results were referred for colposcopy; women with positive HPV but negative cytology results were referred to 1-year repeat hrHPV testing.


Of 46,694 women screened by HPV testing up to December 2011, 3,211 (6.9%) tested hrHPV positive; 45% of these had a positive triage cytology. Those with negative cytology were invited for 1-yr repeat testing. Compliance with invitation was 61.6% at baseline and 85.3% at 1-yr repeat. Rate of persistent hrHPV positivity was 58% (830/1,435). Colposcopy performed in women with a positive hrHPV test at 1-yr repeat accounted for 36% of all colposcopies performed within the screening programmes. Cumulatively, a histological high-grade lesion was detected in 276 women (5.9‰ detection rate), 234 at baseline (85%), and 42 (15%) at 1-yr repeat.


Compliance with hrHPV-based screening programmes was high both at baseline and at 1-yr repeat. Compared with the randomized trials, a higher proportion of triage cytology was read as positive, and only a small number of high-grade lesions were detected among the group of hrHPV positive cytology negative women who repeated testing 1-yr after baseline.


HPV; follow-up; organized screening; triage

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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