Objective To determine in a screening population the human papillomavirus (HPV) status in those with cytological abnormalities and to evaluate the presence of high-risk (HR) HPV with a minimum of 5-year follow up.
Design Retrospective examination of HPV status on prospectively collected and cytologically screened cervical smears.
Setting Canisius-Wilhelmina Hospital in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
Population Three hundred and fifty-seven women aged 30–60 years, from the population screened.
Methods Three hundred and fifty-seven women with borderline or higher cytological abnormalities were retrospectively examined for HPV with DNA microarray typing. Follow up was through the nationwide Dutch Pathology database (PALGA).
Main outcome measures For the cytological abnormalities, the CISOE-A classification was used. HPV was scored as negative or positive. In case of positive HPV polymerase chain reaction, the HPV genotype was determined. The occurrence of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia lesions of grade 3 or higher was considered as endpoint for follow up.
Results The majority of the women with borderline cytology in this study were HPV negative (87%). Among the HPV-positive women in borderline cytology group, 74% had HR-HPV or probable high-risk types. The overall percentage of HR-HPV types increased with progressive cytological abnormalities. The cytological classifications of borderline dyskaryosis and moderate dyskaryosis contain all types of HPVs, e.g. low risk, HR and unknown risk. The samples with severe dyskaryosis or higher contain only HR types. The negative predictive value for HR-HPV typing in the group with borderline cytological abnormalities is more than 99%.
Conclusions In cervical screening with an interval of 5 years, HPV can be reliably used as triage point in cases of borderline cytological abnormalities.