Human papillomavirus 16 load in normal and abnormal cervical scrapes: an indicator of CIN II/III and viral clearance

Int J Cancer. 2002 Apr 1;98(4):590-5. doi: 10.1002/ijc.10232.


The relation between human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV 16) viral load in cervical scrapes and development of high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN II or III) was studied in a nested case-control study of women with normal cytology (group A) and in a cohort of women with abnormal cytology (group B). HPV 16 DNA load was determined using a quantitative real-time PCR assay. In group A, case women (women with CIN II/III, n = 12) had a significantly higher viral load than control women (women with CIN < or = I, n = 47). This resulted in an increased relative risk of women with the 50% highest viral load for development of CIN II/III (OR 7.7; CI 1.6-33). In group B, women with CIN II/III (n = 38) had a significantly higher viral load than women with CIN < or = I (n = 25). Women with the 50% highest viral load had an increased relative risk of CIN II/III (OR 3.2; CI 1.1-9.3) and a decreased chance of both viral clearance and cytologic regression. Our data suggest that in women with normal cytology an increased HPV 16 load confers an increased risk of developing a CIN lesion. A sustained high viral load is subsequently informative for progression to a high-grade CIN lesion.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / pathology
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / virology
  • Cervix Uteri / pathology
  • Cervix Uteri / virology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Papillomaviridae*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology*
  • Time Factors
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Tumor Virus Infections / virology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology
  • Viral Load