Background: HPV typing using formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) cervical tissue is used to evaluate HPV vaccine impact, but DNA yield and quality in FFPE specimens can negatively affect test results. This study aimed to evaluate 2 commercial assays for HPV detection and typing using FFPE cervical specimens.
Methods: Four large North Carolina pathology laboratories provided FFPE specimens from 299 women ages18 and older diagnosed with cervical disease from 2001 to 2006. For each woman, one diagnostic block was selected and unstained serial sections were prepared for DNA typing. Extracts from samples with residual lesion were used to detect and type HPV using parallel and serial testing algorithms with the Linear Array and LiPA HPV genotyping assays.
Findings: LA and LiPA concordance was 0.61 for detecting any high-risk (HR) and 0.20 for detecting any low-risk (LR) types, with significant differences in marginal proportions for HPV16, 51, 52, and any HR types. Discordant results were most often LiPA-positive, LA-negative. The parallel algorithm yielded the highest prevalence of any HPV type (95.7%). HR type prevalence was similar using parallel (93.1%) and serial (92.1%) approaches. HPV16, 33, and 52 prevalence was slightly lower using the serial algorithm, but the median number of HR types per woman (1) did not differ by algorithm. Using the serial algorithm, HPV DNA was detected in >85% of invasive and >95% of pre-invasive lesions. The most common type was HPV16, followed by 52, 18, 31, 33, and 35; HPV16/18 was detected in 56.5% of specimens. Multiple HPV types were more common in lower grade lesions.
Conclusions: We developed an efficient algorithm for testing and reporting results of two commercial assays for HPV detection and typing in FFPE specimens, and describe HPV type distribution in pre-invasive and invasive cervical lesions in a state-based sample prior to HPV vaccine introduction.