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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Consistent condom use increases spontaneous regression in high-risk non-HPV16 but not in HPV16 CIN2-3 lesions, a prospective population-based cohort study

Ane Cecilie Munk1, Irene Tveiterås Øvestad2, Einar Gudlaugsson2, Kjell Løvslett1, Bent Fiane1, Bianca van Diermen-Hidle2, Arnold-Jan Kruse3, Ivar Skaland2, Emiel AM Janssen2 and Jan PA Baak2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway

2 Department of Pathology, Stavanger University Hospital, Box 8100, 4068, Stavanger, Norway

3 Department of Gynecology, Academic Hospital Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands

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Infectious Agents and Cancer 2012, 7:30  doi:10.1186/1750-9378-7-30

Published: 5 November 2012



The major cause of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) is persistent infection with human papillomavirus (HPV). Most CIN grade 2 and 3 lesions are treated with cone excision, although a substantial proportion (6-50%) of CIN2-3 lesions will regresses spontaneously. Predictors for regression of CIN2-3 are desirable in order to reduce this overtreatment.


In this prospective cohort study, 145 consecutive women with first-time onset CIN2-3 in colposcopy-directed biopsies and standardized biopsy-cone excision interval were included. The genotype of the high-risk human papillomaviruses (=hrHPV) and clinical factors including sexual behaviour, parity, contraception and smoking were assessed. Patients were divided into two groups according to lesions containing HPV16 (hrHPV16+) and high-risk non-HPV16 (hrHPV16-) genotypes.


Women whose partners consistently used condoms showed a significantly higher regression rate than women using other types of contraception (53% versus 13%, p<0.0001). However, this effect was only seen in hrHPV16- patients (73% regression rate versus 13%, p<0.0001). HrHPV16+ patients had a significantly higher number of sexual partners and more current smokers compared to hrHPV16- patients. The regression rate was not significantly different in CIN2-3 lesions containing HPV16 (hrHPV16+) versus hrHPV16- genotypes.


Heterogeneity among hrHPV genotypes excists. HPV-genotype analyses can identify women who significantly increase their chance of regression by consistent condom use.

CIN2-3; High-risk HPV; HPV16; Regression; Condom use; Clinical factors