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Detection of Human Cytomegalovirus DNA in 986 Women Studied for Human Papillomavirus-Associated Cervical Neoplasia

Daxnerova, Zuzana PhD1; Berkova, Zuzana PhD1; Kaufman, Raymond H. MD2; Adam, Ervin MD1,2

Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease: July 2003 - Volume 7 - Issue 3 - p 187-193
Original Articles

Objective. The aim of this study was to assess the association of human cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection with cervical histologic findings and possible interaction with human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.

Materials and Methods. Nine hundred eighty-six women with a Pap test reported as high-grade intraepithelial lesion or with two smears reported as atypical squamous cell of undetermined significance or low grade squamous intraepithelial lesion referred for colposcopic examination were studied. All participants had a cervical Pap smear obtained and underwent colposcopically directed biopsy and endocervical curettage. Cytomegalovirus DNA and HPV DNA were detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) from a cervical swab.

Results. Human cytomegalovirus DNA was identified in 86 specimens (8.7%). Women 30 years and older had a significantly (p < .01) lower prevalence of CMV DNA (6.5%) than younger women (11.8%). Of the 86 CMV DNA-positive women, 7% had a normal histologic result, 58.1% had HPV changes (koilocytosis) in the biopsy, 11.6% had cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 1 and 23.3% had CIN 2,3. The frequency diagnosis of koilocytosis (HPV changes) on biopsy was significantly higher in the CMV DNA-positive women (58.1%) than in the CMV negatives (29.6%). Koilocytosis on biopsy was found in 63.9% of CMV DNA-positive women who did not have concurrent HPV infection detected by PCR. Significant risk factors for koilocytosis on biopsy were CMV infection and smoking. For CIN 1, risk factors were CMV and high-risk human papillomavirus infection as well as early age of first pregnancy. The main risk factors for CIN 2,3 were HPV and CMV infections, history of smoking, and multiple pregnancies.

Conclusions. The prevalence of CMV DNA is age dependent. The most frequent diagnosis on biopsy associated with CMV is koilocytosis (HPV changes), and 54% of these cases had dual HPV and CMV infection. The CMV infection appears to be associated with all histologic diagnoses, and the diagnosis of koilocytosis is not necessarily always associated with HPV infection.

1Departments of Molecular Virology and Microbiology and 2Obstetrics and Gynecology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX

Reprint requests to: Raymond H. Kaufman, MD, Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 6550 Fannin, Houston, TX 77030. E-mail:

©2003The American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology