Do infection patterns of human papillomavirus affect the cytologic detection of high-grade cervical lesions on papanicolaou tests?

Siavash Azadmanesh Samimi, Roxanne R Mody, Steven Goodman, Eric Luna, Donna Armylagos, Mary R Schwartz, Dina R Mody, Yimin Ge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Context.-Persistent infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV) is the major cause of cervical cancer. The effect of HPV infection patterns on cytologic detection of cervical lesions is unknown. Objective.-To determine the effect of HPV infection patterns on the sensitivity of cytologic detection of highgrade cervical lesions. Design.-Papanicolaou tests from 257 women with biopsy-confirmed, high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions were analyzed with respect to HPV infection patterns. Results.-Among 257 biopsy-confirmed, high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion cases, the preceding cytology showed 20 cases (8%) were benign; 166 cases (65%) were low-grade cervical lesions, including atypical squamous cell of undetermined significance and lowgrade squamous intraepithelial lesions; and 71 cases (28%) were high-grade cervical lesions, including atypical squamous cells cannot rule out high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (atypical squamous cell-high), atypical glandular cells, and high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions. In 236 cases tested for HPV, those exhibiting low-grade cervical lesions on cytology were often associated with coinfections of mixed hrHPV genotypes (31 of 40; 78%) or non-16/18 hrHPV (75/103; 73%), compared with single-genotype infections of HPV-16 (33 of 62; 53%) or HPV-18 (2 of 6; 33%) (P = .001). In contrast, highgrade cervical lesion cytomorphology tended to associate with the single-genotype infection of HPV-16 (20 of 62; 32%) or HPV-18 (3 of 6; 50%), compared with non-16/18 hrHPV (25 of 103; 24%) or multigenotype infection (8 of 40; 20%) (P = .01). Conclusions.-Our findings suggest that multigenotypic or non-16/18 hrHPV infections often produce deceptive lower-grade cytomorphology, which could result in underdiagnosis and delay of treatment. The HPV infection patterns may offer unrecognized benefit beyond HPV genotyping and should be considered during clinical risk evaluation of women with lower-grade cytology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-352
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number3
Early online dateNov 21 2017
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Journal Article

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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