Cytological distinction between high-risk and low-risk human papillomavirus infections in SurePath liquid-based cell preparations

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Abstract

Aims:

To investigate the correlation of various diagnostic cytological features in SurePath liquid-based cell preparations with high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.

Methods:

Case–control study. SurePath specimens from 510 cases that had been tested for HPV DNA by Hybrid Capture 2 assay were retrieved and re-examined for 10 cytological features. Distribution of these features in high- and low-risk HPV types was compared and risk statistics were estimated. Effects of cervicitis on the manifestation of HPV cytological changes were adjusted by means of logistic regression.

Results:

Cytological features of nuclear hyperchromasia, multinucleation and atypical metaplastic cells were predominantly noted in high-risk HPV infection in the category of atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance/low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion. The odds ratios of these three features were 6–12 times higher in high-risk than low-risk HPV infection.

Conclusions:

Some diagnostic cytological features can be used as markers in Pap smear screening for assessing the types of HPV infection.

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