Direct comparison of two vaginal self-sampling devices for the detection of human papillomavirus infections

J Clin Virol. 2016 Sep:82:46-50. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2016.06.016. Epub 2016 Jun 28.


Background and objectives: Two devices for vaginal self-sampling of dry cell material (Evalyn Brush, Rovers Medical Devices; Qvintip, Aprovix) were compared using the Abbott RealTime High Risk HPV test.

Study design: Both self-sampling devices (change of order with every patient) including instructions for use and a questionnaire were handed to 146 patients in a colposcopy clinic prior to scheduled colposcopies with collection of cervical reference specimens by gynaecologists using a broom-like device. Matched self-collected and physician collected specimens were transferred to ThinPrep medium and tested for the presence of hr-HPV. Biopsies were taken if indicated by colposcopy.

Results: Evaluation of 136 patients with complete data (136/146; 93.2%) showed high agreement of overall hr-HPV detection rates between self-collected and clinician-collected specimens (Evalyn: 91.2% [kappa 0.822]; Qvintip: 89.0% [kappa 0.779]). Colposcopy and histological evaluation revealed 55 women without cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), 32 CIN1, 34 CIN2, 14 CIN3 and one adenocarcinoma in situ. Hr-HPV testing detected all CIN3+ cases on the clinician-taken or Evalyn self-samples (14/14) and 93% of them on the Qvintip samples (13/14). There was no significant difference regarding the sensitivity for CIN2+ or CIN3+ and specificity of hr-HPV testing on self- vs. clinician samples and on Evalyn vs. Qvintip. Based on signal intensities of β-globin, the observed DNA concentration with Evalyn samples (mean CN: 22.0; 95%-CI: 21.5-22.6) was found to be significantly higher compared to that of Qvintip samples (mean CN: 23.8; 95%-CI 23.2-24.4), regardless of the order of self-sampling (p<0.0001). Most women considered self-sampling easy and comfortable. Qvintip was considered easier than the Evalyn Brush to understand (p<0.001) and to use (p=0.002).

Discussion: This study confirms that hr-HPV testing with a clinically validated PCR-based HPV assay is as accurate on self-samples as on clinician-samples without significant difference between both self-sampling devices.

Keywords: Cervical cancer screening; Human papillomavirus; Self-sampling.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Early Detection of Cancer / instrumentation*
  • Early Detection of Cancer / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / diagnosis*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Self-Examination / instrumentation*
  • Self-Examination / methods
  • Specimen Handling / instrumentation*
  • Specimen Handling / methods
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vagina / virology*
  • Young Adult