Screening for human papillomavirus: Is urine useful?|
D'Hauwers, KW & Tjalma, WA
Persistent infection with high-risk Human papillomavirus (hr-HPV 16, 18, 31, 33, and 45) is the main risk factor for developing malignant genital lesions. Screening methods and follow-up schedules for cervical cancer are well known. A golden standard to screen and monitor men does not exist yet, because HPV-related, life threatening malignancies in men are rare. The importance of male HPV screening lies mainly in HPV vaccination. Young females are the target group for HPV, but men are considered to be the reservoir for HPV and to have a role in the perpetuation of the infection in the general population.
We looked at the usefulness of urine as a tool for HPV screening. Pubmed was searched with the words ′HPV′, ′Urine,′ and ′HPV-DNA′. The chance of finding HPV-DNA in urine is higher in men with lesions in the urethra than outside the urethra, and in women with abnormal cervical cytology. In general, the results of testing urine for HPV-DNA are better for women than for men, probably because of the anatomical position of the urethra to the vagina, vulva, and cervix. In both genders, urine HPV prevalence is higher in HIV pos patients and in high-risk populations. Urine, to screen asymptomatic low-risk-profile (wo)men seems less useful because their urine samples are often inadequate. If urine proves to be the best medium to screen, a low-risk population remains controversial.
Human papillomavirus, screening, urine