Aquarius Population Health

Current cervical screening program guidelines for Ontario recommend cytology testing every 3 years for ages 25-70. Primary HR-HPV screening has been found to be more sensitive than primary cytology in detecting high-grade disease of the cervix. As Canadian provinces and territories move towards implementing primary HR-HPV screening in their cervical screening programs, how cervical screening is organized and implemented will need to be considered, including the choice of HR-HPV assay as the type of test influences costs and resource use.

A published decision tree model based on the Cervical Screening Programme (CSP) in England was adapted to simulate the primary HPV algorithm proposed by the Cervical Screening Guideline Working Group in Ontario. Results showed using mRNA tests instead of DNA tests could save over CAD $4 million annually, and avoid approximately 11,000 unnecessary colposcopies, 15,000 HPV tests and 40,000 cytology tests. Whilst the Ontario algorithm has not yet been agreed upon, this study shows that the choice of HPV assay is an important consideration within an HPV primary cervical screening program.


Weston G, Steben M, Popadiuk C, Bentley J, Dombrowski C, Adams E. Estimating the costs and benefits of HR-HPV assay choice in a theoretical HPV primary cervical screening algorithm in Ontario, Canada. Poster presented at: EUROGIN International Multidisciplinary HPV Congress; 2021 May 30 – June 1; Virtual

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