Knowledge of differences in human papillomavirus (HPV)-type prevalence between high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (HG-CIN) and invasive cervical cancer (ICC) is crucial for understanding the natural history of HPV-infected cervical lesions and the potential impact of HPV vaccination on cervical cancer prevention. More than 6,000 women diagnosed with HG-CIN or ICC from 17 European countries were enrolled in two parallel cross-sectional studies (108288/108290). Centralised histopathology review and standardised HPV-DNA typing were applied to formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded cervical specimens dated 2001-2008. The pooled prevalence of individual HPV types was estimated using meta-analytic methods. A total of 3,103 women were diagnosed with HG-CIN and a total of 3,162 with ICC (median ages: 34 and 49 years, respectively), of which 98.5 and 91.8% were HPV-positive, respectively. The most common HPV types in women with HG-CIN were HPV16/33/31 (59.9/10.5/9.0%) and in ICC were HPV16/18/45 (63.3/15.2/5.3%). In squamous cell carcinomas, HPV16/18/33 were most frequent (66.2/10.8/5.3%), and in adenocarcinomas, HPV16/18/45 (54.2/40.4/8.3%). The prevalence of HPV16/18/45 was 1.1/3.5/2.5 times higher in ICC than in HG-CIN. The difference in age at diagnosis between CIN3 and squamous cervical cancer for HPV18 (9 years) was significantly less compared to HPV31/33/'other' (23/20/17 years), and for HPV45 (1 year) than HPV16/31/33/'other' (15/23/20/17 years). In Europe, HPV16 predominates in both HG-CIN and ICC, whereas HPV18/45 are associated with a low median age of ICC. HPV18/45 are more frequent in ICC than HG-CIN and associated with a high median age of HG-CIN, with a narrow age interval between HG-CIN and ICC detection. These findings support the need for primary prevention of HPV16/18/45-related cervical lesions.
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