The clinical implementation of primary HPV screening

Luciano Mariani, Sarah Igidbashian, Maria Teresa Sandri, Patrizia Vici, Fabio Landoni

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate, from a gynecology perspective, the transition from cytology-based HPV screening to primary HPV screening. Methods: Studies examining switching from cytology-based screening to primary HPV-DNA testing with triaging of patients with positive test results were retrieved and reviewed, with a particular focus on screening in an Italian setting. Results: The increased complexity of patient-management decisions when implementing HPV-based screening was a critical issue discussed in the literature. The change in strategy represents a paradigm shift in moving from a medical perspective of identifying the disease in individual patients, to a public-healthcare perspective of excluding HPV from the healthy population and identifying a small sub-group of individuals at increased risk of HPV. Conclusion: With knowledge about HPV screening evolving rapidly, new programs and related algorithms need to be sufficiently flexible to be adjusted according to ongoing research and the validation of new assays. The establishment of a national working group (including epidemiologists, gynecologists, pathologists, and healthcare providers) will be necessary to properly implement and govern this important technical and cultural transition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-271
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Cervical cancer screening
  • HPV test
  • Primary HPV screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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