HPV Human Papilloma Virus

Making sense of HPV testing is a daunting task. As scientists learn more about the etiology of HPV, laboratories are offering more options for testing. HPV information is flooding the literature, including medical journals, woman’s magazines, and health reports on television and radio. The general public and your patients are asking more informed questions about HPV testing.

So how do clinicians and patients answer all the questions? Where do you find the answers and whom can you trust?  We, at WPM Pathology Laboratory, have tried to answer some common questions posed by both your patients.

What is HPV?

HPV is a common sexually transmitted disease throughout the world. In the United States it is the most common STD, affecting more than 20 million individuals. About 400,000 new cases are diagnoses annually. HPV is widely accepted as the primary agent involved in the development of squamous intraepithelieal lesions and cervical carcinoma.  According to the ALTS report, approximately 87% of all LGSIL lesions are positive for HPV.

Currently, more than 120 different genotypes are known. Forty to fifty types are identified as infecting the urogenital tract. Currently, about twenty types are believed to be involved in the genesis of cervical cancer.  In our PCR Molecular Laboratory at WPM, these have been divided into three groups known as High Risk, Low Risk and Unknown Risk.

         High Risk HPV  typing by PCR identifies the following carcinogenic genotypes: 16, 18, 26, 31, 33, 35, 39, 45, 51, 52, 53, 56, 58, 59, 62, 66, 68, 73, 82 and 83. 
          Low Risk HPV  typing by PCR includes the genotypes of:  6, 11, 30, 40, 42, 43, 44, 54, 61, 69, 70,72, 74, 81 and CP6108.     
         Unknown Risk HPV  typing by PCR includes the genotypes of 34, 55, 57, 64, 67, 71, 84, CP8061 and LVX160.

Why order HPV testing?

HPV testing is ordered to determine the presence of Human Papilloma Virus. Many other factors can contribute to an ASC-US Pap smear; therefore, it is helpful to determine the presence of HPV. It is also ordered to estimate the risk of developing a significant lesion in the future. HPV testing, with genotyping, can help you triage follow-up care for your ASC-US patients and provide risk assessment for LSIL patients.  PCR genotyping also allows for following persistent infections, recurrent infections and identifying new infections in patients with on going atypical Pap results.

How do you order HPV testing?

Our GYN Cytology requisition gives the clinician two options for ordering reflex testing at the time of collection of a liquid-based Pap.  By marking either option, WPM will automatically reflex atypical Pap results accordingly.  Clinicians may also use the ANCILLARY TESTING REQUISTION to order HPV testing on selected patients.

WPM Cytology staff needs to know if you prefer to order HPV testing on your ASC-US and Low- grade SIL patients. A Standing Order is advisable when using this option.

A Standing Order can be submitted to the Cytology Department at any time in writing. WPM will provide a form for this request. They will be updated on a yearly basis.

You may also use the ANCILLARY TESTING REQUISTION to order HPV testing on selected patients. These requisitions are available upon request or online to keep in your office.

Most insurance companies are paying for HPV testing with the proper ICD-9 code.

contact us

  • WPM Pathology Laboratory
  • 338 N. Front St.
  • Salina, KS 67401
  • 785.823.7201