Clinical utility of HPV-DNA detection: triage of minor cervical lesions, follow-up of women treated for high-grade CIN: an update of pooled evidence

Gynecol Oncol. 2005 Dec;99(3 Suppl 1):S7-11. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2005.07.033. Epub 2005 Sep 9.


Objective: Human papilloma virus (HPV) testing and repeat cytology are both proposed as methods to triage women with minor cytological cervical lesions. By triage, those women can be identified who need referral for diagnostic exploration with colposcopy and/or biopsy.

Methods: We conducted meta-analyses of reported studies on the accuracy to detect high-grade cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia or worse disease (CIN2+) in women with ASCUS or LSIL. We also performed meta-analyses to examine the best predictor of recurrence of CIN after treatment for CIN2 or CIN3.

Results: We found that HPV testing using the Hybrid Capture II test is more effective (more sensitive, equally specific) than cytology for the triage of patients with ASCUS Pap smears. Because of the high rate of HPV positivity, this is not the case for patients with LSIL. Studies concerning post-treatment follow-up were heterogeneous. In general, HPV testing performed better than follow-up cytology to predict success or failure of treatment (significantly higher sensitivity, not significantly lower specificity).

Conclusions: Overall, in comparison with follow-up cytology, HPV DNA testing is more sensitive and equally specific for triage of ASCUS cases and for predicting recurrence of CIN in women treated for high-grade CIN.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / virology*
  • DNA, Viral / analysis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Papillomaviridae / genetics*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / complications
  • Papillomavirus Infections / virology*
  • Triage / methods
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / pathology
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / virology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology*


  • DNA, Viral