Risk of High-Grade Cervical Lesions in Atypical Squamous Cells of Undetermined Significance (ASC-US) Cytology: Comparison between HIV-Infected and HIV-Negative Women

Document Type : Research Articles


Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand.


Background and objective: Women with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection have an increased risk of HPV infection, cervical neoplasia. This study was undertaken to compare the risk of having high-grade cervical lesions defined as cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 2 or worse (CIN2+) in HIV-infected versus HIV-uninfected women who had atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASC-US) on cervical cytology. Methods: Fifty-seven HIV-positive women aged 25-65 years with ASC-US cytology undergoing colposcopic examination between January 2008 and December 2020 at Chiang Mai University Hospital were reviewed. By matching 1:5 ratio, 285 HIV-negative women with ASC-US cytology in the same period were recruited as controlled subjects for comparison. The patient characteristics, HIV status, CD4 cell count within 6 months of colposcopy, antiretroviral therapy, parity, contraception, smoking history, number of sexual partners, and histopathology on cervical biopsy were analyzed. Results: Mean age ± SD of the HIV-positive and HIV-negative groups was 44.28 ± 8.53 years and 44.28 ± 9.68 years, respectively. HIV-positive women were significantly less likely to use contraceptive methods (36.8 % versus 48.8 % in HIV-negative women; P = 0.002). HIV-infected women significantly had more sexual partners than HIV-uninfected women. Both groups had similar risk for CIN 2+ (5.3 % in HIV-positive women compared with 4.9 % in HIV-negative women; odds ratio [OR] = 1.08, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.30 –3.87). After adjustment for no contraception use and number of sexual partners, the risk of CIN2+ in HIV-infected women remained unchanged; adjusted OR= 1.15, 95% CI = 0.27-4.92, P= 0.846). Conclusion: The risk of underlying high-grade cervical lesions in women with ASC-US on cervical cytology was approximately 5 %, regardless of HIV status.


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