Groups standardize HPV terminology

July 11, 2012

A pair of pathology organizations have jointly issued new recommendations for standardizing diagnostic terminology for lesions associated with human papillomavirus across lower anogenital tract body sites.

National report - A pair of pathology organizations have jointly issued new recommendations for standardizing diagnostic terminology for lesions associated with human papillomavirus across lower anogenital tract body sites.

The College of American Pathologists and the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology introduced the CAP/ASCCP LAST (Lower Anogenital Squamous Terminology) recommendations, Newswise.com reports. The two groups aim to enhance communication between pathologists and clinicians, leading to more effective patient management of human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated disease and improved patient outcomes.

Specifically, the LAST project described unified terminology across all lower anogenital tract sites. For intraepithelial lesions, a two-tiered terminology (low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion, LSIL; and high-grade squamous epithelial lesions, HSIL) reflects the biology of transient, productive HPV infections and precancerous lesions, according to the project authors.

“For superficially invasive squamous carcinoma of these sites, a uniform terminology and criteria for diagnosis brings order to similar entities,” the authors wrote. “As a corollary to the process, the use of biomarkers was addressed, to aid in the accurate and reproducible classification of intraepithelial lesions and strong recommendations for appropriate use were made.”

The recommendations were based on an extensive literature review of historical use of the terminology, how it influences management of HPV-associated lesions by body sites, and the role of biomarkers in their diagnosis. Thirty-five professional organizations collaborated to review and approve the recommendations.

The CAP/ASCCP LAST recommendations were published online in Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease.

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