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J Trop Med. 2012;2012:869758. doi: 10.1155/2012/869758. Epub 2012 Jul 24.

Cervical Cytopathology in a Population of HIV-Positive and HIV-Negative Women.

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Institute of Tropical Pathology and Public Health, Federal University of Goiás, 74645-050 Goiânia, Go, Brazil.


The association between abnormal cervical cytology and HIV infection status in women was evaluated to correlate with CD4 cell count and viral load in HIV-positive patients with the presence of low-grade (LSIL) and high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL). Cervical samples were collected at the Tropical Disease Hospital, Maternal and Child Healthcare Hospital and at the Nascer Cidadão Maternity Hospital in Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil. An Ayre's spatula was used to collect samples from the ectocervix and a cytology brush to collect samples from the endocervix. Of a total of 237 women, 125 were HIV positive and 112 were HIV negative. Abnormal cytology (n = 21; 8.9%) was more common in the HIV positive group (n = 15; 12.1%) compared to the HIV-negative group (n = 6; 5.4%) (P = 0.05). Cytological abnormalities were not found to be associated with immunosuppression, defined as CD4 count < 200 cells/mm(3). A higher frequency was found between higher viral loads (>10,000/mm(3)) and the presence of abnormal cytology. Pregnant women, irrespective of whether they were HIV positive or negative, were less likely to have lesions compared to the nonpregnant women in the same groups. The higher frequency of abnormal findings in Papanicolaou cytology in HIV-positive women with higher viral loads suggests the association between preinvasive cervical lesions and human immunodeficiency.

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