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BMJ. 1989 Jan 21;298(6667):153-6.

Human papillomavirus infection and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia in women with renal allografts.

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  • 1Lothian Area Colposcopy Clinic, Maternity Hospital, Edinburgh.


An increased prevalence of cervical cancer has been observed in immunosuppressed women, but controlled studies are rare. Biopsy specimens from 49 women with renal allografts and 69 non-immunosuppressed controls (with no history of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, vulval warts, or abnormal results of cervical smear tests) were assessed for colposcopic appearance, cytological and histological diagnosis, and the presence of human papillomavirus types 6/11 and 16/18 DNA sequences. At colposcopy 26 (53%) of the women with allografts had cervical abnormalities compared with 20 (29%) of the controls. The prevalence of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia was significantly higher in the women with allografts (24 (49%) compared with 7 (10%]. The overall rate of detection of human papillomavirus DNA did not differ significantly between the two groups. There was however, a significant difference in the rate of detection of human papillomavirus type 16/18 DNA (27% in the women with allografts and 6% in the controls). These data confirm that pathological and virological changes affecting the cervix are significantly increased in immunosuppressed women and emphasise the need for regular colposcopic examination.

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