Rescreening Practices of Negative Papanicolaou Tests With Positive Human Papillomavirus Test Result

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Archives of pathology & laboratory medicine








CONTEXT.—: The yield of the prospective rescreening process for "negative for intraepithelial lesion or malignancy" (NILM) Papanicolaou (Pap) tests is higher with the inclusion of a greater proportion of high-risk cases. One of the suggested criteria for classifying a Pap test finding as high risk is recent or concurrent high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) positivity. OBJECTIVE.—: To evaluate how the results of HPV testing have been incorporated in the prospective rescreening of NILM Pap tests across a wide range of laboratories. DESIGN.—: A questionnaire survey was sent to laboratories participating in the 2019 College of American Pathologists (CAP) Gynecologic Cytology (PAP Education) Program. RESULTS.—: Of the 1507 participating laboratories, 667 (44%) responded to the survey. Most laboratories (59.4%; 396 of 667) had not incorporated HPV test/genotyping results to select NILM Pap tests for rescreening. Amongst the remaining laboratories, for NILM HPV-positive Pap test results, 112 (16.8%) had a policy to rescreen by a cytotechnologist only, 51 (7.6%) by a pathologist only, and 86 (12.9%) by both. Of 264 laboratories, 181 (68.6%) reported the cytology upon availability of the HPV test result and completion of the secondary review. Of 661 laboratories, 145 (21.9%) included consensus-type recommendations in the cytology report for such Pap tests. CONCLUSIONS.—: This CAP survey provides significant information regarding the current trends in the use of HPV test results in prospective rescreening of NILM Pap tests. Future studies on quality improvement can further assist in the standardization of this process across different laboratories.