Human papilloma virus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. HPV infection can cause anal condylomas and is a risk factor for dysplasia. High-grade dysplasia may progress to squamous cell carcinoma. Currently, biopsy and histological examination are required to grade dysplasia. The purpose of this study is to determine whether anal cytology, morphological characteristics, and/or the presence of high-risk oncogenic HPV-types are effective noninvasive methods to detect high-risk anal condylomas. Patients and methods. From November 2003 to June 2004, all patients with anal condyloma were prospectively evaluated for anal cytology, high-risk oncogenic HPV-types, and tissue biopsies. The Bethesda classification system was used to classify cytologic findings and histological examination, which were grouped as high-risk (HRL) and low-risk (LRL) lesions. Histology results served as true disease for all comparisons. Results. Forty-seven patients with anal condyloma were studied; 43 (91.5%) were men, and the mean age was 39 ± 11 years. Histology showed 19 (40.5%) patients with HRL, and 28 (59.5%) patients with LRL. Cytology correctly identified 8 patients with HRL and 27 patients with LRL (sensitivity 42% and specificity 96%). High-risk oncogenic HPV-types were found in 84.2% of HRL and 39.3% of LRL (P = 0.0029). Combining cytology with oncogenic HPV-testing, the sensitivity of detecting HRL increased to 89%, and specificity decreased to 42%. Conclusion. Anal cytology alone is not accurate for detecting HRL in patients with anal condylomas. Combining oncogenic HPV-testing with cytology is more sensitive in detecting HRL in patients with anal condyloma, and therefore, a more effective screening tool.
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