Author(s): Bansal M, Zhao C
OBJECTIVE: The significance of high-risk HPV (hrHPV) testing in the management of women with abnormal cervical Pap tests is well known. However, the data about the hrHPV detection and its significance in abnormal vaginal specimens are very limited. The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of hrHPV in women with abnormal vaginal smears.
METHODS: Our Copath database system was searched to retrieve all the vaginal Pap tests with adjunctive HC2 hrHPV DNA test performed between July 1, 2005, and July 30, 2009. The results of hrHPV were reviewed in different TBS 2001 categories, in different age groups, and in white and African American women.
RESULTS: During the study period, there were 1,320 vaginal ThinPrep Pap tests with adjunctive HC2 hrHPV, reported as atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (n = 1,125), atypical squamous cells cannot rule out high grade (n = 36), low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (n = 148), and high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (n = 11). A positive hrHPV DNA result was obtained in a total of 387 cases (29.3%), which included 244 atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (21.7%), 21 atypical squamous cells cannot rule out high-grade (58.3%), 113 low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (76.4%), and 9 high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (81.8%). Mean age was 56.5 years (range = 17-93 y). High-risk HPV-positive rate was 34.5% versus 24.9% in women aged 54 years or younger compared with those aged ≥ 55 years or older (p < .001) and 45.1% versus 27.3% in African American women compared with white women (p < .001). High-risk HPV DNA-positive rate was 2.6% among the 1,572 women with negative vaginal Pap tests.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that prevalence of hrHPV in abnormal vaginal smears parallels that of cervical smears with equivalent degree of abnormality. The suggestion of reflex hrHPV testing as a tool in formulating the management plan for women with abnormal vaginal smears needs further attention.Gynecology & Obstetrics