The College of American Pathologists' first 3 years' experience with high-risk human papillomavirus proficiency testing for cytology and other laboratories

Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2013 May;137(5):606-9. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2012-0149-CP.


Context: The College of American Pathologists (CAP) Human Papillomavirus (High-Risk) Survey for Cytopathology and Other Laboratories (CHPV) meets the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA '88) requirements for 5 proficiency testing challenges analyzed 3 times per year. This study reports laboratory performance for CHPV from 2008 through 2010.

Objective: To identify trends in proficiency testing performance for subscribers to the CAP CHPV.

Design: CHPV responses were evaluated by using a nonlinear mixed model (significance level of .05) with a 2-factor interaction term and repeated measures component, comparing year, media, method, and intended response. Media types included Digene transport, SurePath, ThinPrep media, or a mixture of media types. Proficiency testing challenges validated at 80% consensus.

Results: All challenges validated; 476 laboratories submitted 14 911 responses with 14 620 correct responses (98%). There were no differences between positive or negative challenges, or rate of correct responses; significant differences existed between media types by year and methods. Digene and ThinPrep media performed better than SurePath (P < .001; P = .03). There was a statistically significant difference between methods (P < .001); "other commercial kits," "other (noncommercial)" tests, and Third Wave performed more poorly than others.

Conclusions: Laboratories performed well when testing for human papillomavirus in CHPV during a period of 3 years. All challenges performed to the 80% threshold. Significant differences were found between methods and media. The CAP CHPV survey provides useful information for laboratories choosing human papillomavirus testing methods.

MeSH terms

  • Cytodiagnosis / standards*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laboratory Proficiency Testing*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Vaginal Smears / standards*