To compare all available accuracy data on screening strategies for identifying cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade ≥ 2 in healthy asymptomatic women, we performed a systematic review and network meta-analysis. MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched up to October 2020 for paired-design studies of cytology and testing for high-risk genotypes of human papillomavirus (hrHPV). The methods used included a duplicate assessment of eligibility, double extraction of quantitative data, validity assessment, random-effects network meta-analysis of test accuracy, and GRADE rating. Twenty-seven prospective studies (185,269 subjects) were included. The combination of cytology (atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance or higher grades) and hrHPV testing (excepting genotyping for HPV 16 or 18 [HPV16/18]) with the either-positive criterion (OR rule) was the most sensitive/least specific, whereas the same combination with the both-positive criterion (AND rule) was the most specific/least sensitive. Compared with standalone cytology, non-HPV16/18 hrHPV assays were more sensitive/less specific. Two algorithms proposed for primary cytological testing or primary hrHPV testing were ranked in the middle as more sensitive/less specific than standalone cytology and the AND rule combinations but more specific/less sensitive than standalone hrHPV testing and the OR rule combination. Further research is needed to assess these results in population-relevant outcomes at the program level.
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