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Age-specific performance of careHPV versus Papanicolaou and visual inspection of cervix with acetic acid testing in a primary cervical cancer screening


Background Human papillomavirus (HPV) is recommended as a primary screening tool for cervical screening. Assessment of age-specific performance of newer HPV careHPV DNA testing is important as risk of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) varies at different ages. We aim to evaluate careHPV in comparison to Papanicolaou (Pap) test and visual inspection of the cervix with acetic acid (VIA) cervical screening tests for the detection of high-grade CIN.

Methods The cross sectional study was conducted in a rural population of North India. Ever-married women 30–59 years of age were invited for screening by careHPV (self-collected vaginal and physician-collected cervical samples), Pap test and VIA. Associations for trend in age for detecting histological-confirmed CINII+ and CINIII+ for each screening test were evaluated. Age-specific association with each screening test was evaluated.

Results Of a total of 7761 women invited, 5032 were screened and analysis was performed on 4658 with all screen test results. No significant (p>0.05) association of age for any screening test in the detection of CINII+ or CINIII+ was observed. For the older age group, cervical HPV (CHPV) showed high sensitivity and specificity for CINII+ detection. Specificity of CHPV or vaginal HPV (VHPV) was equal or higher than Pap in all age groups.

Conclusions Cervical screening options of CHPV or VHPV, or Pap, performed equally in the younger age group while CHPV might be an option for all ages in the detection of high-grade CIN.

  • Cancer epidemiology

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