Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Detection in Cytologic Specimens: Similarities and Differences of Available Methodology

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Accumulating evidence regarding the causative role of human papillomavirus (HPV) in a wide range of malignant and nonmalignant diseases highlights the importance of HPV testing. This study describes and discusses the efficacy and characteristics of 4 well-established and commercially available tests. Here, 181 cytologic specimens from cervical smears were analyzed using the HPV SIGN PQ (Diatech) and the Linear Array (Roche) method. Discrepant results were further studied with the Real Time High-Risk HPV (Abbott) method and the INNO-LiPA (Fujirebio) method. Of 181 cytologic specimens, 61 (34%) showed discrepant results. High-risk HPV was not detected in 9 cases by HPV SIGN PQ, in 16 cases by Linear Array, in 10 cases by Real Time High-Risk HPV, and in 6 cases by INNO-LiPA, respectively. Lack of DNA detection or problems in interpreting the result were seen in 9 cases with HPV SIGN PQ, 8 cases with Linear Array, 3 cases with Real Time High-Risk HPV, and 3 cases with INNO-LiPA, respectively. This study indicates that the choice of HPV detection method has a substantial influence on the HPV risk classification of tested PAP smears and clinical follow-up decisions.

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