HPV-DNA testing for detecting precancerous lesions of cervix: how effective?

Ruchi N. Thakur


Background: Human Papilloma Virus has been found to be associated with cervical squamous cell carcinoma. Studies and reviews indicate that HPV testing is more sensitive than Pap smear for identifying cervical cancer and its precursors in population screening. Hybrid capture 2 assays detect high oncogenic risk viruses and can be used as primary screening tool for women older than 30 years.

Methods: A detailed history followed by a thorough clinical and gynecological examination was carried out for women attending the gynecological O.P.D. HPV-DNA (HCT) samples were collected using a cytobrush. Suspicious lesions of the cervix were further subjected to colposcopy directed loop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) and sent for histopathological examination in formalin. The results of HPV-DNA (HCT) and histopatholgical report were then correlated.

Results: In this study, one hundred and sixty women were screened for HPV-DNA. Thirty-two women were found to be positive for HPV-DNA. They were further subjected to colposcopy directed large loop electrosurgical procedure. The positive patients were found to have either low-grade or high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia.

Conclusions: The use of HPV-DNA test may make it a viable alternative to cytological screening especially as a less frequent screening.


CIN, HPV DNA, Human papilloma virus

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