OBJECTIVE: To determine the feasibility and sensitivity of detecting human papillomavirus (HPV) in specimens collected in Cytyc PreservCyt fluid (Boxborough, Massachusetts, U.S.A.) using ligation-dependent polymerase chain reaction (LD-PCR) and to demonstrate the diagnostic value of HPV DNA testing as an adjunct to cytology in the detection of cervical squamous intraepithelial lesions (SIL), especially in cases of atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS). STUDY DESIGN: LD-PCR is a recently invented DNA amplification technology that utilizes a capture probe for target isolation and 2 hemiprobes for target detection. The hemiprobes are designed in such a way that when they hybridize to their target, the 5′ end of one probe and the 3′ end of the other probe are brought together. Two hemiprobes can then be ligated into a full probe that can serve as a template for PCR amplification. A total of 94 cervical specimens were collected in cytologic fluid and tested with LD-PCR. The results were compared with those of the Digene Hybrid Capture II assay (HC II) (Beltville, Maryland, U.S.A.) and consensus PCR. RESULTS: The overall sensitivity for detecting HPV was 41.5% (39/94) by LD-PCR, 50% (47/94) by consensus PCR and 37.2% (35/94) by HC II. The prevalence of HPV by HC II, consensus PCR and LD-PCR were 87.5%, 100% and 87.5% in the high grade SIL group; 100%, 90.9% and 90.9% in the low grade SIL group; 30%, 52.5% and 40% in the ASCUS group; and 14.2%, 22.8% and 17.1% in women with normal cytology. These results indicate that all 3 methods have similar sensitivity in patients with SIL. However, there is greater variation in detection rates in the ASCUS and normal cytology groups. CONCLUSION: LD-PCR is a useful method of detecting HPV in liquid-based gynecologic cytologic preservatives, and HPV testing as a method adjunct to the liquid-based Pap test could be useful in detecting SILs, especially for the management of patients with ASCUS.
- Cervical cancer
- Polymerase chain reaction