Association of human papillomavirus type 16 with neoplastic lesions of the vulva and other genital sites by in situ hybridization

J. Gupta, S. Pilotti, F. Rilke, K. Shah

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66 Scopus citations


The authors examined paraffin sections from 85 genital tract tissues from 49 cases for the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV) Types 6/11, 16, and 18 by stringent in situ hybridization using 35S-labeled viral DNA probes, and for viral capsid antigen by the immunoperoxidase test. The cases, selected mostly on the basis of vulvar pathology, were distributed as follows: early neoplasia (Group I, 6 cases); early neoplasia with viral cytopathic effect (CE) (Group II, 24 cases); and papillomavirus infection (PVI) (Group III, 19 cases). Available tissues from all affected sites were examined when the disease was multicentric. One or more viral DNAs were identified in 58% of 77 tissues from Groups II and III and in 2 of 8 tissues from Group I. HPV-6/11, HPV-16 and HPV-18 DNAs were detected, respectively, in 25, 24, and 2 tissues; 3 tissues were infected simultaneously with either two or three viruses. Viral DNA was identified at more than one site in 14 of 30 DNA-positive patients; in 10 of these, a single type was detected at all sites in the same patient. The viral DNA was localized mostly in areas showing viral cytopathology. The presence of HPV-16 correlated with neoplasia. HPV-16 DNA was identified in the 2 virus-positive tissues showing neoplasia, in 17 of 20 (85%) of the DNA-positive tissues showing neoplasia with CE, and in 5 of 25 (20%) of the DNA-positive tissues showing PVI. Conversely, HPV-6/11 was found in 25% of the DNA-positive tissues showing neoplasia with CE and in 80% of the cases of PVI. An HPV genome was identified in neoplastic cells in 14 instances; in all but 1 case, the genome was HPV-16. The association of HPV-16 with neoplasia was seen for both vulvar and cervical lesions. Viral antigen was detected in 83% of lesions associated with HPV 6/11 and in 62% of lesions associated with HPV-16.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-215
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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