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Association Between Serum Cytokine Profiles and Clearance or Persistence of High-Risk Human Papillomavirus Infection: A Prospective Study
  1. Jin Hwa Hong, MD, PhD*,
  2. Mi Kyung Kim, PhD,
  3. In Ho Lee, MD, PhD,
  4. Tae Jin Kim, MD, PhD,
  5. San Ha Kwak, BS*,
  6. Seung Hun Song, MD, PhD* and
  7. Jae Kwan Lee, MD, PhD*
  1. * Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Guro Hospital, College of Medicine, Korea University, Seoul;
  2. Cancer Epidemiology Branch, National Cancer Center, Goyang; and
  3. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Cheil General Hospital and Women Health Center, College of Medicine, Kwandong University, Seoul, Korea.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Seung Hun Song, MD, PhD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Guro Hospital, College of Medicine, Korea University, 80 Guro-gu Guro-dong, Seoul, 152-703, Korea. E-mail: cooljog{at}


Introduction: The cytokines that may be associated with the clearance or persistence of high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in patients with mild dysplasia or less of the uterine cervix were determined.

Methods: A prospective study of 160 patients who harbored high-risk HPV with histologically confirmed mild dysplasia or less between January 2006 and August 2008 was performed. All patients were followed up at every 4 months during the first year. Human papillomavirus DNA tests by the Hybrid Capture 2 method (Digene, Gaithersburg, Md) were performed at every visit on all patients. Blood sampling was performed in all patients at their initial visit, and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to measure the serum levels of interferon γ, tumor necrosis factor α, and interleukins 6 and 10.

Results: Of the 160 patients, 107 (66.9%) had clearance of HPV infection after 12 months of follow-up. The median age of patients in the persistence group was significantly higher than that of patients in the clearance group (47 vs 38 years, respectively; range, 21-77 vs 21-71 years, respectively; P = 0.0009). In univariate analysis, the number of patients with serum negative for tumor necrosis factor α was significantly higher in the clearance group than the persistence group (P = 0.0363). However, in multivariate logistic regression analysis, all 4 cytokines failed to show any significant association with the clearance or persistence of HPV infection.

Conclusions: The baseline serum cytokine levels were not associated with the clearance or persistence of HPV infection. Systemic immunity may not influence the natural history of HPV infection.

  • Human papillomavirus
  • Interferon γ
  • Tumor necrosis factor α
  • Interleukin 6
  • Interleukin 10

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