Urine testing for high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) appears to be as effective as the smear test at detecting cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2+ (CIN2+), according to research by the University of Manchester.
The cross-section study, published in BMJ Open, was conducted in the colposcopy clinic at St Mary's Hospital, Manchester. A total of 104 women aged 25 years of age or older, attending the clinic for management of abnormal cervical screening results or a suspicious-looking cervix, participated. Self-collected urine and vaginal samples and practitioner-obtained cervical samples were tested for HR-HPV.
The researchers found that preservative-fixed, but not neat urine, showed good concordance with vaginal samples for the detection of HR-HPV. The sensitivity for detecting CIN2+ was 83 per cent for urine and 88-89 per cent for cervical and vaginal samples.
Urine-based testing was broadly acceptable to women. In general, women were more confident about providing a urine sample than a vaginal sample.
“Our study suggests that vaginal HR-HPV testing is slightly more sensitive than urine HR-HPV testing, however urine self-sampling may be more acceptable to cervical screening non-attenders than vaginal self-sampling,” the authors say.