Human papillomavirus distribution in cervical tissues of different morphology as determined by hybrid capture assay and PCR

Int J Gynecol Pathol. 1997 Jul;16(3):197-204. doi: 10.1097/00004347-199707000-00002.


Distribution of various types of genital human Papillomavirus (HPV) in smears from histologically classified cervical lesions was determined by hybrid capture assay (HCA) and was compared with a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) system using general primers (GP) in first and type specific primers (TS) in a second step. The overall agreement of high-risk HPV by HCA and the more sensitive GP/TS PCR was 80.6% (204 of 253, kappa value 0.6). Human Papillomavirus frequency by GP/TS PCR was 14-20% higher compared with HCA (p = 0.02-0.004) independent of morphology. Only one sample was positive by HCA and negative by GP/TS PCR. A significantly higher frequency was found using HCA and GP/TS PCR in smears from histologically proven cervical intraepithelial lesions (CIN) II/III compared with CIN I, tissues with minimal changes (metaplasia, cervicitis, or lack of glycogenization), or normal morphology (61% and 81% vs 8-15% and 24-34%, p < or = 0.001). Semi-quantitative estimate of HPV DNA copies by GP-PCR coincided with estimated virus load by quantitative HCA and was significantly higher in patients with CIN II/III compared with CIN I (p < 0.001). Thus, the GP-PCR may be used to monitor the amount of HPV DNA copies in clinical samples. A direct correlation between morphologic changes and HPV detection as well as virus load was found by HCA and the more sensitive GP/TS PCR.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / complications
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / pathology
  • Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia / virology
  • Cervix Uteri / pathology*
  • Cervix Uteri / virology*
  • DNA Probes, HPV
  • DNA, Viral / analysis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Metaplasia / complications
  • Metaplasia / pathology
  • Metaplasia / virology
  • Middle Aged
  • Papillomaviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / complications
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tumor Virus Infections / complications
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Uterine Cervical Neoplasms / virology*


  • DNA Probes, HPV
  • DNA, Viral