Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections result in a significant burden of low-grade cervical lesions. Between 1997 and 2000, our randomized trial of primary HPV screening enrolled 12,527 women participating in population-based screening. Women between 32 and 38 years of age (median: 34, interquartile range: 33-37) were randomized to HPV and cytology double testing (intervention arm, n = 6,257 enrolled, n = 5,888 followed-up) or to cytology, with samples frozen for future HPV testing (control arm, n = 6,270 enrolled, n = 5,795 followed-up). We estimated the HPV type-specific, long-term absolute risks (AR), and population attributable proportions (PAR) for cytological diagnoses of atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS) or low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LSIL) and for histopathologically diagnosed cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 1 (CIN1). The women were followed using comprehensive, nationwide register-based follow-up. During a mean follow-up time of 11.07 years, 886 ASCUS and LSIL lesions were detected, 448 in the intervention arm and 438 in the control arm. Poisson regression estimated the incidence rate ratios (IRRs) of low-grade lesions by HPV type. The IRRs were strongly dependent on follow-up time. The IRRs for ASCUS/LSIL associated with high-risk HPV positivity were 18.6 (95% CI: 14.9-23.4) during the first screening round, 4.1 (95% CI: 2.8-6.2) during the second, 2.6 (95% CI: 1.7-4.1) during the third, and 1.1 (95% CI: 0.7-1.8) for >9 years of follow-up, with similar declines seen for the individual types. Type 16 contributed consistently to the greatest proportion of ASCUS, LSIL, and CIN1 risk in the population (first screening round PAR: ASCUS: 15.5% (95% CI: 9.7-21.9), LSIL: 14.7% (95% CI: 8.0-20.9), and CIN1: 13.4% (95% CI: 3.2-22.5)), followed by type 31 [8.4% (95% CI: 4.2-12.5) for ASCUS to 17.3% (95% CI: 6.8-26.6) for CIN1]. In summary, most ASCUS/LSIL lesions associated with HPV infection are caused by new HPV infections and most lesions are found during the first screening round.
Keywords: ASCUS; HPV infections; HPV testing; LSIL; cervical cancer screening.
© 2014 UICC.