Cross-sectional study of patient- and physician-collected cervical cytology and human papillomavirus

Francisco Garcia, Bel Barker, Carlos Santos, Elena Mendez Brown, Thomas Nuño, Anna Giuliano, John Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To compare the performance of patient- and physician-obtained cytology and human papillomavirus (HPV) testing for the detection of high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was performed involving 334 women seen at three colposcopy clinics (Tucson, Arizona; Hermosillo, Mexico; and Lima, Peru). All women used a cytobrush to self-collect specimens for cervical cytology and HPV testing. Subjects subsequently underwent physician collection for cytology and HPV, followed by a complete colposcopic evaluation with directed biopsy. Cytology was processed using thin-layer technology, and HPV was determined using the polymerase chain reaction technique. Test performance characteristics were determined using the histopathologic diagnosis as the reference standard and designating high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia as clinically significant disease for the purpose of the analysis. RESULTS: The sensitivity of patient-collected cytology was significantly lower (55.0%) and specificity was significantly better (84.1%) than those of physician-directed sampling (85.2% and 73.4%, respectively). Patient-collected HPV had significantly lower sensitivity (49.0%) than physician sampling (82.2%), although specificity did not significantly differ. CONCLUSION: Patient collection is a feasible although inferior alternative to physician-collected cervical cytology and HPV testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)266-272
Number of pages7
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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