Human papillomavirus type-specific persistence and recurrence after treatment for cervical dysplasia

J Med Virol. 2014 Apr;86(4):634-41. doi: 10.1002/jmv.23806. Epub 2013 Oct 12.


Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a necessary factor in the cervical cancer development. Also after treatment for cervical dysplasia, HPV can be present and promote the recurrence of cervical disease. In the present study, the aim was to perform a long-term follow-up on the ability of HPV testing with genotyping, as compared with cytology, to predict recurrence of high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment with loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) conization. Cervical samples for HPV DNA testing and cytological analysis were obtained from 178 women with abnormal smears referred for treatment with LEEP conization. These women were scheduled for HPV DNA testing and Pap smears before and 3, 6, 12, 24, and 36 months after treatment. Three years after treatment 3.1% (N = 4) of women were still persistently HPV-positive with the same type as had been detected at treatment. Recurrent or residual cervical intraepithelial neoplasia II+ in histopathology was found among 9 (5.1%) women during follow-up. All of these women had type-specific HPV-persistence (sensitivity 100% [95% CI 63-100%] and specificity 94.7% [89.8-97.4%]), but only 7/9 had abnormal cytology (sensitivity 77.8% [40.2-96.1%] and specificity 94.7% [89.8-97.4%]). No recurrent or residual disease was found among women with any other patterns of HPV positivity (e.g., type change or fluctuating positivity) (sensitivity 0% [95% CI 0-37.1%] and specificity 80.5% [73.5-86.0%]). In conclusion, only type-specific HPV persistence predicted recurrent or residual disease, and HPV genotyping appears useful to improve the specificity when using HPV testing in post-treatment follow-up.

Keywords: HPV genotyping; cervical screening; loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alphapapillomavirus / classification
  • Alphapapillomavirus / genetics
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / surgery
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / virology*
  • Cervix Uteri / virology
  • DNA, Viral
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Papanicolaou Test*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Recurrence
  • Uterine Cervical Dysplasia / virology*
  • Vaginal Smears*
  • Young Adult


  • DNA, Viral