The accuracy of anal swab–based tests to detect high-grade anal intraepithelial neoplasia in HIV-infected patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Fernando Dias Gonçalves Lima, Janine D. Viset, Mariska M. G. Leeflang, Jacqueline Limpens, Jan M. Prins, Henry J. C. de Vries

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Background. The incidence of high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV)–induced anal cancer is increasingly problematic among HIV-positive patients. Anal cancer is preceded by precursor lesions, anal intraepithelial neoplasia (AIN). AIN detection requires high-resolution anoscopy, a cumbersome and time-consuming procedure. We aggregated evidence on anal swab–based tests to detect AIN in HIV-positive patients. Methods. We searched MEDLINE and EMBASE for cross-sectional studies on AIN detection with anal cytology, HR-HPV DNA detection, HPV E6/E7 mRNA analysis, and P16INK4a and Ki-67 immunostaining. Summary estimates of sensitivity and specificity were calculated using bivariate logistic regression. Cytology was reported using the terms squamous intra-epithelial lesion (SIL) for AIN and high-grade SIL (HSIL) for high-grade AIN (HGAIN). Results. We included 22 studies. Using cytology with a cutoff of any SIL to detect HGAIN, we detected a sensitivity of 82% (95% CI, 74%–87%) and specificity of 45% (95% CI, 44%–66%); with the cutoff of HSIL, the sensitivity was 44% (95% CI, 45%–67%) and the specificity was 79% (95% CI, 69%-87%). The sensitivity of HPV DNA to detect HGAIN was 91% (95% CI, 82%–95%) and the specificity was 27% (95% CI, 21%–33%). For MSM, the positive predictive value (PPV) of cytology with a cutoff of any SIL was 36% (95% CI, 23%–50%) and the negative predictive value (NPV) was 87% (95% CI, 78%–93%), whereas cytology with a cutoff of HSIL had a PPV of 62% (95% CI, 50%–73%) and an NPV of 78% (95% CI, 65%–87%). The PPV of HR-HPV DNA detection was 37% (95% CI, 20%–57%) and the NPV was 87% (95% CI, 79%–93%). Conclusions. Given its sensitivity, cytology with a cutoff of any SIL could be considered as a triaging method, whereas cytology with a cutoff of HSIL had better specificity and could be used for quality assurance. HR-HPV DNA detection had poor specificity and PPV, making it unsuitable for triage.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOpen Forum Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes

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