A fluid-based Papanicolaou test has been established to improve sample collection and preparation. This study was the first largescale investigation in Japan to examine the feasibility of using fluid-based Papanicolaou specimens to detect human papillomavirus (HPV) using Hybrid Capture II and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Three thousand patients who visited Keio University Hospital between October 2000 and February 2001 were enrolled in the study. The results of the fluid-based Papanicolaou tests corresponded well with those of conventional Papanicolaou smears (96.8% concordance). The sensitivities of cervical neoplasia detection using the fluid-based Papanicolaou test (73.9%) and Hybrid Capture II (76.3%, P=0.55) were not significantly different. Among the cervical intraepithelial neoplasia 3 and squamous cell carcinoma specimens, HPV 16 and HPV 52 were predominantly detected using the PCR method. Although some DNA samples extracted from the fluid-based specimens were degradaded, PCR and direct sequencing could be performed without difficulty even after 1 year of specimen storage. We conclude that fluid-based Papanicolaou specimens can be applied to investigate HPV infection.
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