Objective: We sought to evaluate the performance of the human papillomavirus high-risk DNA test in patients 30 years and older.
Materials and methods: Screening (n=835) and diagnosis (n=518) groups were defined based on prior Papanicolaou smear results as part of a clinical trial for cervical cancer detection. We compared the Hybrid Capture II (HCII) test result with the worst histologic report. We used cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 2/3 or worse as the reference of disease. We calculated sensitivities, specificities, positive and negative likelihood ratios (LR+ and LR-), receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves, and areas under the ROC curves for the HCII test. We also considered alternative strategies, including Papanicolaou smear, a combination of Papanicolaou smear and the HCII test, a sequence of Papanicolaou smear followed by the HCII test, and a sequence of the HCII test followed by Papanicolaou smear.
Results: For the screening group, the sensitivity was 0.69 and the specificity was 0.93; the area under the ROC curve was 0.81. The LR+ and LR- were 10.24 and 0.34, respectively. For the diagnosis group, the sensitivity was 0.88 and the specificity was 0.78; the area under the ROC curve was 0.83. The LR+ and LR- were 4.06 and 0.14, respectively. Sequential testing showed little or no improvement over the combination testing.
Conclusions: The HCII test in the screening group had a greater LR+ for the detection of CIN 2/3 or worse. HCII testing may be an additional screening tool for cervical cancer in women 30 years and older.