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Diagn Cytopathol. 2016 Dec;44(12):987-993. doi: 10.1002/dc.23613. Epub 2016 Oct 24.

Prevalence of human papillomavirus, Epstein-Barr virus, and cytomegalovirus in fine needle aspirates from lung carcinoma: A case-control study with review of literature.

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Department of Immunopathology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh, India.
Department of Cytology and Gynaecologic Pathology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh, India.
Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh, India.



Oncogenic viruses have recently been allied with lung carcinoma, however, the causal association has not been established till date. The study was conducted to determine the prevalence of high-risk Human papillomavirus (HPV; subtypes 16, 18, 31, 33 and 45), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV) in lung carcinoma using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on fine needle aspirates.


Fine needle aspirates of patients with lung carcinoma were included as cases. The control samples included normal lung tissue, collected at the time of medico legal autopsies. DNA was extracted from samples of both cases and controls and analysed by PCR for the presence of HPV, EBV and CMV.


A total of 5/73 (6.8%) cases demonstrated the presence of HPV. Of these, 3 were positive for HPV-16 and one each for HPV-18 and HPV-45. A significant association of HPV with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) (P = 0.01) was observed. Two cases were positive for EBV; however, the difference was not statistically significant for EBV (P = 0.5) as well as CMV. None of the controls were positive for HPV, EBV or CMV.


We conclude that fine needle aspirates can serve as reliable sample for PCR based detection of viruses. A significantly higher prevalence of HPV in lung cancer and a significant association with SCC was observed, thereby, indicating a positive link between HPV and etiopathogenesis of lung carcinoma. Diagn. Cytopathol. 2016;44:987-993. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


fine needle aspiration; human papillomavirus; lung carcinoma; oncogenic viruses; polymerase chain reaction

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