AIMS--To determine the sensitivity of the hybrid capture method for human papillomavirus (HPV) detection and potential clinical uses as a screening method for the identification of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. METHODS--The presence of oncogenic types of HPV was tested for in samples taken from the cervix at colposcopy, and compared with detection by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 60 patients. Both sets of results were corrected with the pathology determined by biopsy and smear cytology. RESULTS--Hybrid capture detection showed 86% agreement with PCR. Eighty three percent of CIN 3 lesions, 62% of CIN 2, 59% of CIN 1 and 21% of normal controls were positive for oncogenic HPV types. CONCLUSION--The hybrid capture detection method is reliable, sensitive, and easy to use. The addition of HPV testing to cytological screening would detect a greater proportion of cervical dysplasia with a higher false positive rate.
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