A simple urine test can routinely spot human papillomavirus (HPV), according to research published in The BMJ.
Neha Pathak, M.B.B.S., a resident in obstetrics and gynecology and research fellow at the Queen Mary University of London, and colleagues reviewed 16 published articles reporting on 14 studies that looked at the HPV urine test.
Compared with cervical samples, the HPV urine test correctly identified positive results 87 percent of the time. The urine tests correctly identified negative results 94 percent of the time.
When it came to the high-risk strains of the virus — HPV 16 and 18 — the urine test correctly identified positive results 73 percent of the time and negative results 98 percent of the time.
“Our study shows that testing urine for HPV has good accuracy when compared to testing samples taken from the cervix for HPV,” Pathak told HealthDay. While the test is not yet widely available or included in any screening guidelines, Pathak said it has potential, but more research is needed.