Evaluation of cervical screening strategies with adjunct high-risk human papillomavirus testing for women with borderline or mild dyskaryosis

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Abstract

The management of women with a smear read as borderline/mild dyskaryosis (BMD) found by cervical cancer screening is still under discussion as only few of these cases are associated with high-grade lesions. To determine the optimal screening strategy for these women, a simulation model of cervical cancer development was used that is based on high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) infection. The current strategy of repeat cytological testing at 6 and 18 months after BMD was compared to strategies with adjunct hrHPV testing. Calculations were done for both conventional and liquid-based cytology as the primary screening tool. In comparison to current screening, adjunct hrHPV testing was more effective in preventing cancer and more woman-friendly (reduction in colposcopy referrals with outcome < cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN2) of up to 56% and in repeat smears of 30–100%). In combination with conventional cytology, cost-effective strategies were the ones in which a sample for high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) testing is collected at a return visit within 1 month or in which hrHPV testing is restricted to repeat smears taken at 6 and 18 months. For these strategies, co-collection of samples for hrHPV testing at baseline is not necessary which has organizational and cost advantages. In combination with liquid-based cytology, it was cost-effective to perform a reflex hrHPV test at baseline from the liquid-based specimen. Liquid-based screening was more effective than conventional screening, but annual diagnosis costs were €5 million higher (population size 16 million). In conclusion, our calculations indicate that implementation of hrHPV testing for the management of women with borderline or mild dyskaryosis (BMD) is feasible both in settings where conventional and liquid-based cytology is current practice. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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