As per the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology guidelines, human papillomavirus (HPV) testing is currently used as part of cervical cancer screening and during colposcopy follow-up. The present project evaluated if the application of acetic acid (AA) impacts HPV test results.
We conducted a prospective nonrandomized interventional study. Participants referred for colposcopy were eligible if immunocompetent, older than 18 years, and not pregnant. Women in group A (controls) received 2 consecutive HPV tests without application of AA. Women in group B had a first HPV sample collected before the application of AA and a second sample collected 3 minutes after application of AA. Samples were tested for HPV DNA with Hybrid Capture 2 (HC2) according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
From October 17, 2012, to January 10, 2013, approximately 101 women were recruited in 2 colposcopy clinics. In each group, concordance was 98%, with only 1 participant having discordant results (testing negative on the first sample and positive on the second sample). We found no statistically significant difference in relative light units(RLUs) between groups (median of difference, − 0.02 vs −0.05 RLU; p = .93).
The results of this study suggest that acetic acid at concentrations of 3% to 5% and sequential cervical sampling do not modify the result of HPV testing by Hybrid Capture 2.
Acetic acid at concentrations of 3% to 5% and sequential cervical sampling do not modify the results of HPV testing by Hybrid Capture 2.
1Obstetrics and Gynecology,
2Microbiology and Infectiology, and
3Social and Preventive Medicine Departments, Université de Montréal and CRCHUM Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Correspondence to: Annick Pina, MD, Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, 1000, rue Saint-Denis, Montréal, QC, H2X 0C1. E-mail: email@example.com
Sources of financial support: Quality control of HPV tests was done with financial support from the Fonds de la Recherche en Santé du Québec (FRQS) Réseau SIDAMI.
Conflict of interest statement: F.C. has received grants through his institution from Merck, Becton Dickinson, and Roche for projects unrelated to this work, as well as honoraria from Merck and Roche for lectures on HPV. M.-H.M. holds a salary award (chercheur-boursier clinicien) from the Fonds de la recherche du Québec en santé (FRQ-S). H.T. holds a salary award (chercheur-boursier) from FRQ-S and a new investigator salary award from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
IRB status: This project was approved by the ethics committee of the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal (CHUM).