How are papillomavirus (HPV) cervical infections usually diagnosed?

Updated: Feb 20, 2020
  • Author: Peter A Gearhart, MD; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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Most cervical infections are either latent or subclinical and therefore asymptomatic. These infections are detected on Pap smear and are reported as either a low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (LGSIL) or a high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion (HGSIL). Further examination with 3-5% acetic acid and colposcopy shows characteristic acetowhite changes and abnormal blood vessels indicative of HPV-triggered dysplasia.

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