Human Papillomavirus E6/E7 mRNA Testing Has Higher Specificity than Liquid-Based DNA Testing in the Evaluation of Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia

ArticleinAnalytical and quantitative cytology and histology / the International Academy of Cytology [and] American Society of Cytology 33(6):311-5 · December 2011with26 Reads
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    To examine the specificity of human papillomavirus (HPV) E6/E7 mRNA testing for intraepithelial precursor lesions and invasive carcinoma of the uterine cervix in 358 women and compare the results with those of the most widely used DNA technique.
    For HPV E6/E7 mRNA testing an amplification assay was used. For DNA determination a hybridization assay was applied. Both techniques were used simultaneously in patients with normal morphology (150), cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (173) and invasive carcinoma of the cervix (35).
    HPV DNA positivity rates were significantly higher than E6/E7 mRNA in women with normal morphology (21-7%), cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 1 and 2 (75-43%), and CIN 3 (93-63%). In invasive cervical carcinoma, both methods tested equally high (94% vs. 97%). Considering that E6/E7 up-regulation represents the initial step in cervical carcinogenesis, it can be assumed that this test allows a more specific detection of lesions with a potential for progression.
    HPV E6/E7 mRNA may serve as a more specific discriminator between transient cervical dysplasias and potentially progressive lesions. Accordingly, testing for high-risk HPV E6/E7 mRNA might reduce the psychologic burden associated with HPV-DNA testing.