In the Netherlands 2% of cervical smears in the cervical cancer screening program are read as borderline or mildly dyskaryotic cytology (BMD smear). Only in about 10% of these women a high-grade CIN lesion (CIN II-III) is present; therefore referral is for the majority unnecessary. In our study triage with high-risk HPV (hrHPV) testing was used to identify women at risk for development of high-grade CIN lesions after a repeat BMD smear. A "wait-and-see" period was incorporated allowing clearance of HPV and regression of the lesion. Women with a low-grade lesion, irrespective of their HPV status, were monitored at 12 months; women with a high-grade lesion were monitored at 6 and 12 months. Fifty-one of the 105 women (49%) were hrHPV negative at baseline; none of them showed progression of the lesion within the first year of follow-up (NPV 100%). High-grade CIN was present in 1 patient who was HPV negative at baseline (2%); she demonstrated regression after 12 months. Nineteen of the hrHPV positive women (35%) demonstrated a high-grade CIN lesion at baseline and 3 cleared hrHPV after 6 months, with a subsequent regression of CIN. Ten women remained hrHPV positive with persistence of high-grade CIN and were eventually treated. At baseline, 35 hrHPV positive women demonstrated a low-grade lesion, 19 remained hrHPV positive after 12 months and 5 developed high-grade CIN. Sixteen out of the 35 cleared the hrHPV infection without progression of the lesion. In conclusion, triage, using hrHPV testing for women with persistent BMD cytology, can select women who are not at risk for development of high-grade CIN. We recommend return to the screening program without referral for colposcopic examination if hrHPV is absent. For hrHPV positive women, a repeat hrHPV test after another 6 months is suggested. Referral is only required if persistence of hrHPV is established.

, , ,,
International Journal of Cancer
Department of Gynaecology & Obstetrics

Bais, A., Helmerhorst, T., Rebolj, M., Snijders, P., de Schipper, F., van der Meulen, D. A., … Meijer, C. (2005). Triage using HPV-testing in persistent borderline and mildly dyskaryotic smears: Proposal for new guidelines. International Journal of Cancer, 116(1), 122–129. doi:10.1002/ijc.20958