Experience with high-risk human papillomavirus testing on vaginal brush-based self-samples of non-attendees of the cervical screening program

Int J Cancer. 2012 Mar 1;130(5):1128-35. doi: 10.1002/ijc.26128. Epub 2011 May 30.


We evaluated the effect of offering brush-based vaginal self-sampling for high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) testing to non-attendees of the cervical screening program on response rate, compliance to follow-up and cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or 3 (CIN2+/CIN3+) yield. In addition, concordance of hrHPV test results between physician-taken cervical scrapes and vaginal self-samples was determined. A total of 26,409 nonattending women were randomly assigned to receive a vaginal brush device for hrHPV testing by Hybrid Capture-2 method (i.e., self-sampling group, n = 26,145) or a reinvitation for regular cytology-based screening (i.e., recall control group, n = 264). hrHPV-positive self-sampling responders were invited for a physician-taken scrape for cytology and blinded hrHPV testing. If cytology was abnormal, women were referred for colposcopy. Response rate in the self-sampling group was significantly increased compared to the recall control group (30.8% versus 6.5%; p < 0.001). The concordance rate between hrHPV detection in self-samples and corresponding physician-taken cervical scrape samples was 68.8%. Amongst women with CIN3+ and CIN2+, the concordance rates in hrHPV positivity between both samples were 95.5% and 93.8%, respectively. Adherence at baseline to cytology triage of hrHPV-positive self-sampling women (89.1%) and colposcopy referral of those with abnormal cytology (95.8%) was high. The CIN2+/CIN3+/carcinoma yields were 1.5%, 1.0% and 0.1%, respectively, in self-sampling responders. In conclusion, offering hrHPV testing on self-sampled vaginal material with a brush device to non-attendees significantly increases the attendance to the regular screening program, yields hrHPV test results that are in very good concordance with those of physician-taken scrapes in women with CIN2+/CIN3+, and is effective in detecting CIN2+/CIN3+.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Patient Compliance
  • Risk
  • Specimen Handling / methods*
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / diagnosis
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / virology
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology*
  • Vaginal Smears / methods*