A total of 20 studies were included in the review; human papillomavirus HC1 test (one study), HC2 test (eight studies), polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test (11 studies). Mean follow-up duration ranged from 12 to 31 months.
Only five of the HC2 studies were deemed suitable for pooling; all used a positive cut-off of 1pg/mL. Of the HC2 studies, only one used blinded assessors, most trials used follow-up colposcopy, and six out of eight trials did not use the human papillomavirus test to influence follow-up.
Pooled sensitivity for the HC2 test was calculated as 90.7% (95% CI 75.4 to 96.9) and pooled specificity as 74.6% (95% CI 60.4 to 85.0). Heterogeneity was not present for sensitivity, but I2 for specificity was 80%. One study seemed to contribute most of the variation, and was excluded for a sensitivity analysis, which did not produce markedly different sensitivity or specificity values.
Four HC2 studies also reported cervical cytological results, giving an overall sensitivity of 76.6% (95% CI 62.0 to 86.8%) and specificity of 89.7% (95% CI 22.7 to 99.6); heterogeneity was not reported.
Further results were also reported.