Human papillomavirus testing 2007–2012: Co-testing and triage utilization and impact on subsequent clinical management

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Abstract

In the United States, high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) testing is recommended for women with atypical squamous cells of unknown significance (ASC-US) cytology, and co-testing with cytology and HPV is a recommended option for screening women aged ≥30 years. No population-based data are available to examine utilization of HPV testing in the United States. Using the New Mexico HPV Pap Registry data resource, we describe population trends (2007–2012) in utilization and positivity rates for HPV testing as a routine co-testing screening procedure and for triage of ASC-US and other cytologic outcomes. For women aged 30–65 years co-testing increased from 5.2% in 2007 to 19.1% in 2012 (p < 0.001). Overall 82% of women with ASC-US cytology who did not receive co-testing also had an HPV test. HPV positivity was age and cytology result dependent but did not show time trends. For women with negative cytology, 64% received an additional screening test within 3 years if no co-test was done or if it was positive, but this was reduced to 47% with a negative co-test. Reflex HPV testing for ASC-US cytology is well established and occurs in most women. Evidence for reflex testing is also observed following other abnormal cytology outcomes. Co-testing in women aged 30–65 years has more than tripled from 2007 to 2012, but was still only used in 19.1% of women aged 30–65 years attending for screening in 2012. Women receiving co-testing had longer repeat screening intervals, but rescreening within 3 years is still very common even with co-testing.

What's new?

Concurrent testing (co-testing) for cytology and human papillomavirus (HPV) has been recommended for primary cervical-cancer screening since 2002. In this study, the authors found that, although co-testing more than tripled between 2007 and 2012, it still occurs in fewer than 20% of women. On the other hand, 82% of women with ASC-US cytology were then tested for HPV. The registry used in this study (the New Mexico HPV Pap Registry) provides a model for evaluating cervical screening and follow-up outcomes and potentially the model can be translated to other cancers.

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