Cervical signs of HPV infection in PAP-smear negative women with external genital warts
Petersen CS, Thomsen HK, Søndergaard J.
Forty-eight women with external genital warts, all with normal cervical cytological PAP smears, were examined by means of colposcopy. One cervical biopsy for histological evaluation was taken from each woman, irrespective of the colposcopic findings. Koilocytosis was detected in 18/48 (38%) and dysplasia (CIN-1) in 3/48 (6%) of the patients. The presence of aceto-white lesions on the cervix was significantly associated with abnormal histology; 12 of 17 (71%) aceto-white lesions and 8 to 31 (26%) normal-appearing cervices showed histological changes indicating HPV infection (p less than 0.01). Women with koilocytosis and dysplasia had genital warts for a mean of 201 days compared with 79 days in women with normal cervical histology (p less than 0.01). It is concluded that even the clinically normal appearing cervix frequently is a reservoir for HPV and that colposcopy should be a routine procedure in women with external genital warts, irrespective of the result of the PAP smear, to provide a basis for proper counselling and individual therapy.