"Our commitment is to provide comprehensive and superior quality anatomic pathology services."

Human Papilloma Virus

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is one of today’s fastest spreading sexually transmitted diseases (STD) with nearly one million new cases diagnosed each year.  Of very great concern is clinical research data which documents casual association between HPV infection and Cervical Cancer.  In order to aid clinicians in patient evaluation and counseling, Yosemite Pathology Medical Group (YPMG) now offers a state of the art test to identify HPV.

This "Digene" HPV hc2 test uses an RNA cocktail to detect viral types 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 45, 51, 52, 56, 58, 59 and 68.  The test used by YPMG is the Digene Hybrid Capture® II System which has been approved for used with hc2 DNA Collection Device, HC Cervical Sample, Specimen Transport medium and Cytyc ThinPrep Pap Test PreservCyt Solution.  This HPV DNA test detects whether one or more types of HPV are present; it does not identify individual HPV types. Positive viral probe results should be correlated with medically established tests such as progression of cellular abnormalities on biopsy and Pap smear.

Patient with greater risk of HPV infection include:

  1. Patients with a history of multiple sexual partners and/or previous STD infection
  2. Women with borderline or equivocal pap smear and/or cervical/vaginal/vulva biopsy results
  3. Immunocompromised patients
  4. Cigarette smoking

The best way to know your patients' true risk:

  1. Pap test results, lifestyle, or patient history are not reliable indicators of HPV status.
  2. Screening all women 30 and older for high-risk HPV - not just those with ASC-US Pap results - identifies women most at risk of cervical cancer.
  3. Although most women acquire an HPV infection at some point, only persistent infections can lead to cervical cancer.
  4. Persistent infections more frequently occur in women 30 and older.

Strong but only indirect evidence of HPV viral infection can be suggested through physical examination and cytologic and histologic studies of female patients.  Viral probe typing is necessary to identify the HPV viral types associated with demonstrated lesions.  Viral types 6 and 11 are usually associated with nonprogressive disease.  Viral types 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45 51, 52, 56, 58, 59, 68 and 82 may be associated with premalignant progressive lesions.

The Digene Hybrid Capture® II System is a non radioactive hybridization assay, which is similar to an immunohistochemical staining protocol.  The test procedure can be completed with a few days compared to the several weeks for the more complex Southern blot method.

The Digene Hybrid Capture® II System detects HPV DNA with a high degree of sensitivity.  The assay results in a distinct permanent stain, easily detectable with a standard light microscope.

Positive and negative controls are run with each patient’s sample to assure that all phases of the test have been performed properly.

Final interpretation of staining material is performed by a pathologist experienced in the interpretation of DNA probe tests.


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