Prevalence of anal cytological abnormalities and high-risk human papillomavirus prevalence in kidney transplant recipients: A cross-sectional study

Clin Transplant. 2021 Dec;35(12):e14476. doi: 10.1111/ctr.14476. Epub 2021 Oct 26.


Transplant recipients are at high-risk of anal squamous cell cancer. We aimed to estimate the prevalence of high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) and high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HSIL) and assess characteristics associated with results METHODS: We recruited kidney transplant recipients in a single-center, 2015-2018. Participants completed a clinical questionnaire and received an anal-swab sent for HPV-DNA and cytological testing RESULTS: A total of 97 (74%) of 125 recipients approached consented to participate. Participants were median 47 (IQR 40-55) years, 60% male and median 4.5 (IQR .9-13) months-since-transplant. Of 86 assessable samples, at least one HPV genotype was detected in 15 (17%) participants; 1 (1%) HPV16, 8 (9%) other high-risk HPV. Of 76 assessable cytology samples, 9 (12%) showed evidence of abnormality; 1 (1%) HSIL, 1 (1%) atypical-squamous-cells, cannot exclude HSIL. Both HSIL recipients had high-risk HPV and biopsy confirmed HSIL. High-risk HPV was detected in six (9%) recipients with normal cytology. History of sexually transmitted infection, and abnormal cervical pap smear in women, was associated with high-risk HPV and HSIL CONCLUSIONS: High-risk HPV and HSIL testing may identify kidney transplant recipients at higher risk of anal cancer. Longitudinal studies are needed to describe the natural history of anal cancer in transplant recipients.

Keywords: cancer; malignancy; neoplasia, clinical trial, epidemiology, molecular biology: DNA.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Human papillomavirus 16
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomavirus Infections* / diagnosis
  • Papillomavirus Infections* / epidemiology
  • Papillomavirus Infections* / etiology
  • Prevalence
  • Transplant Recipients

Associated data

  • ANZCTR/ACTRN12616001507471