Comparative performance of high-risk human papillomavirus RNA and DNA in situ hybridization on college of American pathologists proficiency tests

Elaine S. Keung, Rhona J. Souers, Julia A. Bridge, William C. Faquin, Rondell P. Graham, Meera R. Hameed, James S. Lewis, Jason D. Merker, Patricia Vasalos, Joel T. Moncur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Context.-Detection of high-risk human papillomavirus (HR-HPV) in squamous cell carcinoma is important for classification and prognostication. In situ hybridization (ISH) is a commonly used HR-HPV-specific test that targets viral RNA or DNA. The College of American Pathologists (CAP) provides proficiency testing for laboratories performing HR-HPV ISH. Objective.-To compare the analytical performance of RNA- and DNA-based ISH methods on CAP HR-HPV proficiency tests. Design.-Data from the 2016-2018 CAP HPV ISH proficiency testing surveys were reviewed. These surveys consist of well-characterized samples with known status for HR-HPV, including 1 to 2 copies, 50 to 100 copies, 300 to 500 copies, and no copies of HR-HPV per cell. Results.-Ninety-five participants submitted 1268 survey results from 20 cores. Overall, RNA ISH had a significantly higher percentage of correct responses than DNA ISH: 97.4% (450 of 462) versus 80.6% (650 of 806) (P < .001). This disparity appears to be the consequence of a superior sensitivity of RNA ISH compared to DNA ISH for samples with 1 to 2 and with 50 to 100 copies of HR-HPV per cell: 95.2% (120 of 126) versus 53.8% (129 of 240), P < .001, respectively, and 100% (89 of 89) versus 76.3% (119 of 156), P < .001, respectively. Conclusions.-An assessment of CAP HR-HPV proficiency test performance indicates that RNA ISH shows significantly higher accuracy than DNA ISH owing to higher analytical sensitivity of RNA ISH in tumors with low (1-2 copies per cell) to intermediate (50-100 copies per cell) HR-HPV viral copy numbers. These data support the use of RNA over DNA ISH in clinical laboratories that perform HR-HPV testing as part of their testing algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-349
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Volume144
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medical Laboratory Technology

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