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Human Papillomavirus Load Linked to Cervical Cytology

-- A. Agrawal, PhD

Friday, January 30, 2009

FRIDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Levels of human papillomavirus-18 (HPV-18) DNA in cervical tissue are only associated with the severity of cervical cytology in women who do not go on to develop a precursor to cervical cancer, according to a report published in the Feb. 4 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Long Fu Xi, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues followed 303 women who were positive for HPV-18 for progression to cervical intraepithelial neoplasia.

The researchers found that during two years of follow-up, 30.4 percent of women developed cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2-3 (CIN2-3). HPV-18 DNA load was associated with increasing severity of cervical cytology at baseline only in women who did not develop CIN2-3. Among women who had low-grade or high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions at baseline, after adjusting for age and co-infection with other high-risk HPVs, baseline HPV-18 DNA load was lower in women who developed CIN2-3, the report indicates.

"HPV-18 DNA load was higher for women with low-grade or high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions at enrollment with no evidence of CIN2-3 during the two-year follow-up period than it was for women with CIN2-3," the authors conclude. "Thus, testing for high levels of HPV-18 DNA does not appear to be clinically useful."

Two study authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies.

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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