Intended for healthcare professionals

Research Article

Nuclear DNA analysis of koilocytic and premalignant lesions of the uterine cervix.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987; 294 doi: (Published 31 January 1987) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1987;294:267
  1. R G Hughes,
  2. W A Neill,
  3. M Norval


    Cervical biopsy samples were taken from 79 patients who had various grades of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia or who showed evidence, in the form of koilocytosis, of human papillomavirus infection of the uterine cervix and from 10 women with normal cervices. The DNA content of the cells in the samples was analysed by flow cytometry. Analysis of the data obtained showed that the biopsy samples from women with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and human papillomavirus lesions contained significantly more dividing cells (31.2% of cells from human papillomavirus lesions with no cervical intraepithelial neoplasia and 33.06%, 29.89%, and 31.76% of cells from cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grades I, II, and III, respectively) than those from women with normal cervices (21.6%). The proportion of aneuploid samples from the group who showed evidence of human papillomavirus infection only (18.2%) did not differ significantly from the group with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade III (21.2%). Aneuploidy and an increased rate of cellular proliferation are recognised characteristics of malignancy. These results therefore support the view that human papillomavirus plays an important part in the aetiology of cervical carcinoma and are relevant to the clinical management of patients.