Correlation of cellular atypia and human papillomavirus deoxyribonucleic acid sequences in exfoliated cells of the uterine cervix

Attila T. Lörincz, Gary F. Temple, James A. Patterson, A. Bennett Jenson, Robert J Kurman, Wayne D. Lancaster

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Restriction enzyme digestion and Southern blot hybridization were used to analyze deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) extracted from exfoliated cervical cells for the presence of human papillomavirus sequences and these results were correlated with cytologic findings on Papanicolaou smears. Specimens (N=204) were obtained from a nonselected population of women undergoing routine cytologic screening and human papillomavirus DNA sequences were detected in 33 (167r) women. Thirteen smears contained atypical squamous cells, ranging from very mild dysplasia to moderate dysplasia; all showed associated morphologic evidence of human papillomavirus infection characterized by koilocytosis, nuclear enlargement, wrinkling, and hyperchromasia, and human papillomavirus DNA was demonstrable in 12 (92%) smears. Of the remaining 191 samples with normal cytology, 21 (117c) also contained human papillomavirus DNA sequences. Reevaluation of the smears from these women resulted in a revision of the cytologic diagnosis to very mild dysplasia in four cases. These data suggest that human papillomavirus infection occurs more frequently than predicted by cytologic screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)508-512
Number of pages5
JournalObstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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