Objective: This study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV) in loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) plumes.
Methods: Forty-nine consecutive patients with colposcopic and cytologic evidence of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) were tested. Smoke plumes were collected through a filter placed in the suction tubing. DNA was harvested by proteinase K digest of the filters and prepared for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) by L1 consensus primers.
Results: Thirty-nine (80%) tissue samples were positive for HPV, with types 6/11 in 4, 16/18 in 19, 31/33/35 in 2, and other types in 6 patients. The tissue sample was inadequate for typing in 8 patients. HPV DNA was detected in 18 (37%) filters.
Conclusions: Although the consequences of HPV in LEEP plume are unknown, it would be prudent to adopt stringent control procedures.