American Society for Clinical Pathology

View all recommendations from this society

Released February 21, 2013

Don’t perform low-risk HPV testing.

National guidelines provide for HPV testing in patients with certain abnormal Pap smears and in other select clinical indications. The presence of high risk HPV leads to more frequent examination or more aggressive investigation (e.g., colposcopy and biopsy). There is no medical indication for low risk HPV testing (HPV types that cause genital warts or very minor cell changes on the cervix) because the infection is not associated with disease progression and there is no treatment or therapy change indicated when low risk HPV is identified.


These items are provided solely for informational purposes and are not intended as a substitute for consultation with a medical professional. Patients with any specific questions about the items on this list or their individual situation should consult their physician.

How The List Was Created

1-5: The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) list was developed under the leadership of the chair of ASCP’s Institute Advisory Committee and Past President of ASCP. Subject matter and test utilization experts across the fields of pathology and laboratory medicine were included in this process for their expertise and guidance. The review panel examined hundreds of options based on both the practice of pathology and evidence available through an extensive review of the literature. The laboratory tests targeted in our recommendations were selected because they are tests that are performed frequently; there is evidence that the test either offers no benefit or is harmful; use of the test is costly and it does not provide higher quality care; and, eliminating it or changing to another test is within the control of the clinician. The final list is not exhaustive (many other tests/procedures were also identified and were also worthy of consideration), but the recommendations, if instituted, would result in higher quality care, lower costs, and more effective use of our laboratory resources and personnel.

6–10: The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) list of recommendations was developed under the leadership of the ASCP Choosing Wisely Ad Hoc Committee. This committee is chaired by an ASCP Past President and is comprised of subject matter and test utilization experts across the fields of pathology and laboratory medicine. The committee considered an initial list of possible recommendations compiled as the result of a survey administered to Society members serving on ASCP’s many commissions, committees and councils. The laboratory tests targeted in our recommendations were selected because they are tests that are performed frequently; there is evidence that the test either offers no benefit or is harmful; use of the test is costly and it does not provide higher quality care; and eliminating it or changing to another test is within the control of the clinician. Implementation of these recommendations will result in higher quality care, lower costs and a more effective use of our laboratory resources and personnel.

11–15: The American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) list of recommendations was developed under the leadership of the ASCP Effective Test Utilization Subcommittee. This committee is chaired by an ASCP Past President and comprises subject matter and test utilization experts across the fields of pathology and laboratory medicine. The committee considered an initial list of possible recommendations compiled as the result of a survey administered to Society members serving on ASCP’s many commissions, committees, and councils. The laboratory tests targeted in our recommendations were selected because they are tests that are performed frequently; there is evidence that the test either offers no benefit or is harmful (either entirely or in specific clinical situations); use of the test is costly and it does not provide higher quality care; and eliminating it or changing to another test is within the control of the clinician. Implementation of these recommendations will result in higher quality care, lower costs, and a more effective use of our laboratory resources and personnel.

 

ASCP’s disclosure and conflict of interest policy can be found at www.ascp.org.

Sources

Lee JW, Berkowitz Z, Saraiya M. Low-risk human papillomavirus testing and other non recommended human papillomavirus testing practices among U.S. health care providers. Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Jul;118(1):4-13.

Saslow D, Solomon D, Lawson HW, Killackey M, Kulasingam SL, Cain J, Garcia FA, Moriarty AT, Waxman AG, Wilbur DC, Wentzensen N, Downs LS Jr, Spitzer M, Moscicki AB, Franco EL, Stoler MH, Schiffman M, Castle PE, Myers ER; ACS-ASCCP-ASCP Cervical Cancer Guideline Committee. American Cancer Society, American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, and American Society for Clinical Pathology Screening Guidelines for the Prevention and early Detection of Cervical Cancer. Am J Clin Pathol [Internet]. 2012 May-Jun [cited 2012 Oct 12];137:516-542.

Zhao C, Chen X, Onisko A, Kanbour A, Austin RM. Follow-up outcomes for a large cohort of U.S. women with negative imaged liquid-based cytology findings and positive high risk human papillomavirus test results. Gynecol Oncol [Internet]. 2011 Aug [cited 2012 Oct 12];122:291–296.

American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology. Descriptions of new FDA-approved HPV DNA tests. HPV Genotyping Clinical Update.[Internet]. Frederick (MD): American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology. 2009. [Cited 2012 Oct 12]. Available from: www.asccp.org/ConsensusGuidelines/HPVGenotypingClinicalUpdate/tabid/5963/Default.aspx.