Document Type



Pathology (East Africa); Centres of Excellence


Background: The expression of p16 protein, a surrogate marker for high-risk human papillomavirus (hrHPV), is associated with cervical dysplasia. We evaluated correlates of p16 expression at treatment for high-grade cervical lesions and its utility in predicting the recurrence of cervical intraepithelial lesions grade 2 or higher (CIN2+) following cryotherapy among women with HIV.

Methods: This is a subgroup analysis of women with HIV in Kenya with baseline cervical biopsy-confirmed CIN2+ who were randomized to receive cryotherapy and followed every six-months for two-years for biopsy-confirmed recurrence of CIN2+. P16 immunohistochemistry was performed on the baseline cervical biopsy with a positive result defined as strong abnormal nuclear expression in a continuous block segment of cells (at least 10–20 cells).

Results: Among the 200 women with CIN2+ randomized to cryotherapy, 160 (80%) had a baseline cervical biopsy specimen available, of whom 94 (59%) were p16-positive. p16 expression at baseline was associated with presence of any one of 14 hrHPV genotypes [Odds Ratio (OR)  =  3.2; 95% Confidence Interval (CI), 1.03–9.78], multiple lifetime sexual partners (OR  =  1.6; 95% CI, 1.03–2.54) and detectable plasma HIV viral load (>1,000 copies/mL; OR  =  1.43; 95% CI, 1.01– 2.03). Longer antiretroviral therapy duration (≥2  years) at baseline had lower odds of p16 expression (OR  =  0.46; 95% CI, 0.24–0.87) than <2  years of antiretroviral therapy. Fifty-one women had CIN2+ recurrence over 2-years, of whom 33 (65%) were p16-positive at baseline. p16 was not associated with CIN2+ recurrence (Hazard Ratio  =  1.35; 95% CI, 0.76–2.40).

Conclusion: In this population of women with HIV and CIN2+, 41% of lesions were p16 negative and baseline p16 expression did not predict recurrence of cervical neoplasia during two-year follow up.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Frontiers in Medicine


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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