August 27, 2003
Recent research has shown that testing urine can show what types of HPV are present in the cervix with a high degree of accuracy, therefore identifying which women run the risk of developing cervical cancer. Dr. Grazyna A. Stanczuk, from the University of Zimbabwe Medical School in Harare, and colleagues compared the detection of HPV in urine and in cervical specimens from 43 women with cervical cancer.
The team detected and typed HPV in 72 percent of urine samples and 98 percent of cervical swabs. The most common type of HPV, present in 59 percent of swabs, was HPV 16 followed by types 33, 18 and 31. The HPV type detected in the urine was the same as the cervical type in 22 of 28 paired samples that were available for comparison, the researchers found.
The study noted that the accuracy of the urine tests could probably be improved with repeated testing, which "should identify the high-risk group of women with prolonged HPV cervical infection."