Education Archive

Long term predictive values of cytology and HPV testing in cervical cancer screening

Combining cytology with HPV testing improves the sensitivity of screening, but how often does it need to be repeated? A European study in the BMJ suggests that 6 years is probably a safe interval, and that HPV testing alone may suffice. Among ~25,000 women tested in 6 countries, the rate of CIN3+ at 6 years was only 0.27% in those who were HPV-negative at baseline compared with 0.97% in those who were cytology-negative. Combining the two tests made little difference.