The Relationship of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Detection to Pap Smear Classification of Cervical-Scraped Cells in Asymptomatic Women in Northeast Thailand


Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand


Objective: To correlate the detection of human papillomavirus (HPV) with the Pap smear classification of cervical-scraped cells from asymptomatic women living in northeast Thailand.

Methods: A total of 260 asymptomatic women attending the Obstetrics and Gynecology's Outpatient Clinic, Srinagarind Hospital, Thailand, were interviewed for risk factors and cervical scrapes were taken. The cells were examined by Pap smear for cytological changes and by PCR for HPV DNAs – nononcogenic (HPVs 6 and 11) and oncogenic (HPVs 16, 18 and 33) types. Cervical biopsies were taken from women with abnormal Pap smears for histological examination.

Results: Of the 260 cervical smear samples, the cervical cells were classified as normal and abnormal in 174 and 86, respectively. Twenty-three percent of all samples were positive for overall HPV DNA. HPV DNAs (mostly HPVs 6 and 11) were detected in 21% of normal cells, and the higher detection rate (27%) for HPV DNA in abnormal cells gradually increased in severity from 16% in Class 3 to 35 and 60% in Classes 4 and 5, respectively. Histologically 46, 90 and 100% of HPV detection was associated with CIS, SCC and adenocarcinoma, respectively. Almost all of the HPV DNAs detected were types 16, 18 or 33. There was no significant association between HPV infection and reproduction history, sexual behavior and demographic variables.

Conclusion: We speculated that an abnormal Pap smear and the detection of an oncogenic type HPV may indicate the presence of neoplastic cells in asymptomatic woman who might be at risk for the development of cervical cancer.