• Vol. 46 No. 7, 267–273
  • 15 July 2017

Detection Rate of High-Grade Cervical Neoplasia and Cost-Effectiveness of High-Risk Human Papillomavirus Genotyping with Reflex Liquid-based Cytology in Cervical Cancer Screening



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This study aimed to determine the prevalence of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 3 or worse (≥CIN3) and cost-effectiveness of human papillomavirus (HPV) genotyping with reflex liquid-based cytology (LBC) for cervical cancer screening in Singapore. Materials and Methods: Women who were ≥25 years old and undertook co-testing with LBC and HPV-genotyping (Cobas-4800, Roche, USA) for HPV-16, HPV-18 and 12 high-risk HPV types in a single institution were studied retrospectively. A single cervical smear in ThinPrep® PreservCyt® solution (Hologic, USA) was separated for tests in independent cytology and molecular pathology laboratories. The results were reviewed by a designated gynaecologist according to institutional clinical management protocols. Those who tested positive for HPV-16 and/or HPV-18 (regardless of cytology results), cytology showing low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL) or high-grade SIL (HSIL), or atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS) with positive 12 high-risk HPV types were referred for colposcopy. Colposcopy was performed by experienced colposcopists. Cervical biopsy, either directed punch biopsies or excisional biopsy, was determined by a colposcopist. The diagnosis of ≥CIN3 was reviewed by a gynaecologic pathologist. Cost-effectiveness of HPV-based screening in terms of disease and financial burden was analysed using epidemiological, clinical and financial input data from Singapore. Results: Of 1866 women studied, 167 (8.9%) had abnormal cytology (≥ASCUS) and 171 (9.2%) tested positive for high-risk HPV. Twenty-three CIN were detected. Three of the 10 ≥CIN3 cases had negative cytology but positive HPV-16. Compared to cytology, HPV genotyping detected more ≥CIN3 (OR: 1.43). HPV+16/18 genotyping with reflex LBC was superior in terms of cost-effectiveness to LBC with reflex HPV, both for disease detection rate and cost per case of ≥CIN2 detected. Conclusion: Compared to cytology, HPV+16/18 genotyping with reflex LBC detected more ≥CIN3 and was cost-effective for cervical screening in Singapore.

In Singapore, the age-standardised incidence rate (ASR) of cervical cancer, which has been declining since 1974, was 7.0 per 100,000 from 2010 to 2014, ranking it the tenth most common cancer among women during this period. The apparent rate of decline between each 5-year period was the most dramatic from 1995/1999 to 2000/2004 with 22.8%, and from 2000/2004 to 2005/2009 with 21.4%.

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