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Self- and physician-collected high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) testing to detect high-grade cervical lesions among Thai women


Objective We compared the performance of high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) messenger RNA testing of physician- and self-collected specimens for detecting histological grade 2 or higher cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) among women who visited a colposcopy clinic in Thailand.

Methods From January 2022 to April 2022, 500 women participated in this cross-sectional multicenter study; 494 had complete data and valid specimen results. The participants were women who attended any one of the 10 participating institutes’ colposcopy clinics due to abnormal cytology, positive high-risk HPV testing, or for follow-up. Participants used a self-sampling Aptima Multitest Swab specimen collection kit to self-collect vaginal samples before physicians biopsied the cervix during the colposcopic examination. The self- and physician-collected specimens were tested for high-risk HPV messenger RNA using Aptima nucleic acid amplification assays. Cervical tissues were collected during colposcopic-directed biopsy from the most severe lesion or a random biopsy and endocervical curettage specimen if no lesion was detected.

Results We detected high-risk HPV messenger RNA in 75.4% of self-collected specimens and 70.6% of physician-collected specimens. The prevalence of histological grade 2 or higher CIN from cervical histology was 25.1% (n=124). For self-collected specimens, the sensitivity and specificity of high-risk HPV messenger RNA for grade 2 or higher CIN were 87.0% (95% CI 79.7% to 92.4%; n=108) and 28.5% (95% CI 24.0% to 33.4%). For physician-collected specimens, the sensitivity and specificity of high-risk HPV messenger RNA for grade 2 or higher CIN were 90.2% (95% CI 83.6% to 94.9%; n=112) and 36.1% (95% CI 31.2% to 41.3%).

Conclusions Self-collected specimens for high-risk HPV messenger RNA testing demonstrated good sensitivity and negative predictive value for detecting grade 2 or higher CIN in Thai women attending the participating institutes’ colposcopy clinics. Self-collected samples performed similarly to physician-collected ones.

  • Cervical Cancer
  • Cervix Uteri

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request. In accordance with the Journal’s guidelines, we will provide our data for independent analysis by a team selected by the Editorial Team for the purposes of additional data analysis or for the reproducibility of this study in other centers if such is requested.

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