Objectives: To assess the performance of a novel PCR-based assay (Roche AMPLICOR HPV test) in detection of cervical pathology as a part of management for abnormal PAP smear (MAPS) and in women participating in cervical cancer screening.
Study design: Altogether, 504 women comprising 270 patients referred for colposcopy due to an abnormal Pap smear and another 234 women participating in cervical cancer screening (tested for comparison) were analyzed for oncogenic (HR) Human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, and 68 using the Roche AMPLICOR HPV test in cervical samples collected in PreservCyt liquid media. Colposcopic biopsy and/or LEEP cone biopsy was used as the gold standard in the triage group, while liquid-based cytology (LBC) was the reference test in the screening group.
Results: The prevalence of HPV was significantly higher in the MAPS group (65.9%) than in the screening group (31.2%) (P = 0.0001). There was a poor concordance between the referral PAP and the current LBC, being only moderate in the screening series, ICC (weighted kappa) = 0.291 (95%CI 0.070-0.459) (P = 0.007), and almost poor in the MAPS Series, with ICC = 0.217 (95%CI 0.04-0.384) (P = 0.023). AMPLICOR HPV positivity increased linearly with the increasing grade of cervical lesions. In detecting high-grade (CIN2-3), colposcopy was the most sensitive test (96.5%), very similar to AMPLICOR (95.2%) (P = 0.731), while LBC with HSIL cutoff was by far the most specific test (99.5%) and showed the highest PPV (96.1%). NPV of colposcopy (97.2%) and AMPLICOR (96.7%) were similar (P = 0.839). Together with abnormal colposcopy and HSIL cytology, the AMPLICOR HPV test is a powerful independent predictor of high-grade CIN2-3, and as such suitable to replace cervical cytology in management of women with abnormal PAP test (MAPS).
Conclusions: The Roche AMPLICOR HPV test is comparable to other HPV tests (HCII, PCR) in detecting CIN in MAPS. However, more data are clearly needed on the performance of AMPLICOR test in management of abnormal PAP and particularly as a screening tool.