Management of HPV-positive women in cervical screening using results from two consecutive screening rounds

Nicole J Polman, Nienke J Veldhuijzen, Daniëlle A M Heideman, Peter J F Snijders, Chris J L M Meijer, Johannes Berkhof

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8 Citations (Scopus)


We studied whether triage of human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive women participating in an HPV-based screening programme can be improved by including the HPV result at the previous screen in the triage algorithm. We analyzed data of a subgroup of 366 women from the POBASCAM trial, screened by cytology and HPV cotesting. Women were included if they tested HPV-positive in the second HPV-based screening round. We evaluated the clinical performance of 16 strategies, consisting of cytology, HPV genotyping, and/or previous screen HPV result. The clinical endpoint was cervical precancer or cancer (CIN3+). The current Dutch triage testing policy for HPV-positive women is to refer women for colposcopy if they have abnormal cytology at baseline or after 6-18 months. In the second HPV-based screening round, this strategy yielded a negative predictive value (NPV) of 95.8% (95% confidence interval: 91.9-98.2) and colposcopy referral rate of 37.6% (32.3-43.2%). Replacing repeat cytology by the previous screen HPV result yielded a similar NPV (96.9%, 93.3-98.9) and colposcopy referral rate (38.8%, 33.4-44.4). A higher NPV (99.2%, 96.3-100%) at the cost of a higher colposcopy referral rate (49.2%, 43.6-54.8) was achieved when cytology was combined with HPV16/18 genotyping. The other 13 triage strategies yielded a lower NPV, a higher colposcopy referral rate or performed similarly but required additional testing. HPV-positive women in the second HPV-based screening round can be suitably managed by cytology, HPV16/18 genotyping and the HPV result at the previous screen, obviating the need for repeat testing of HPV-positive, cytology negative women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2339-2346
Number of pages8
JournalInternational journal of cancer
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019

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