Objective: This study was undertaken to assess the association between detection of high-risk types of human papillomavirus and various demographic and behavioral characteristics and to further relate this association to cervical histopathologic findings.
Study design: A total of 1007 patients with a Papanicolaou test result reported as high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion or with 2 results reported as atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance or low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion were referred from city and county clinics to a colposcopic clinic. All women had a cervical smear obtained, underwent colposcopically directed biopsy and endocervical curettage, and had a specimen taken for human papillomavirus deoxyribonucleic acid detection by polymerase chain reaction. Demographic information was obtained from each patient.
Results: Human papillomavirus deoxyribonucleic acid was identified in 655 (66%) of the specimens. High-risk human papillomavirus types (16, 18, 31, 33, and 35) were detected in 463 (70.7%) of these specimens. The prevalence of evidence of human papillomavirus (koilocytosis) and grade 1 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia in the biopsy specimen decreased significantly with age, whereas the prevalence of grade 2 or 3 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia in the biopsy specimen increased with age. There was a significant age-dependent decreasing trend in detection of high-risk human papillomavirus deoxyribonucleic acid among women who had human papillomavirus-associated changes, grade 1 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia, and grade 2 or 3 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia in the biopsy specimen. The prevalences of high-risk human papillomavirus among patients with grade 1 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and grade 2 or 3 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia were similar, and both were significantly higher than among women with no evidence of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia or koilocytosis in the biopsy specimen. Risk factors associated with grade 2 or 3 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia were different from those associated with human papillomavirus-associated changes and with grade 1 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia.
Conclusion: The detection of high-risk human papillomavirus was age-dependent for all histologic categories. Patients with grade 2 or 3 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia had a prevalence of high-risk human papillomavirus that was similar to that among women with grade 1 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia but significantly higher than that among women whose biopsy specimens appeared normal or demonstrated only the presence of human papillomavirus-induced changes (koilocytosis). This suggests that separation of human papillomavirus-associated changes only from grade 1 cervical intraepithelial neoplasia may be of significance in tissue diagnosis.