Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics

, Volume 285, Issue 3, pp 779–784 | Cite as

HPV L1 capsid protein expression in squamous intraepithelial lesions of cervix uteri and its relevance to disease outcome

  • Soheila Sarmadi
  • Narges Izadi-mood
  • Mojdeh Pourlashkari
  • Fariba Yarandi
  • Sanaz Sanii
Gynecologic Oncology



The purpose of this study was to investigate the usefulness of immunocytochemical detection of HPV L1 capsid protein expression in predicting the course of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia.


It is known that most of the low grade dysplastic lesions of cervix uteri regress spontaneously and only some will progress to high grade dysplastic lesions. HPV L1 capsid protein represents about 90% of the total protein on the surface of the virus and can be detected in mild to moderate dysplasia and rarely in severe dysplasia.


Pap smears from 65 women, in whom diagnoses of LSIL (n = 43) and HSIL (n = 22) were made on cytology and histology specimens, were immunocytochemically stained using antibody against HPV L1capsid protein. The results of immunocytochemical analysis were correlated with the outcome during the 24-month follow-up. p value <0.05 was considered significant.


The immunostaining reaction for L1 capsid protein was positive in 28 cases (65.1%) of LSIL while 15 (34.9%) cases of LSIL and all of the 22 cases of HSIL were negative (p < 0.001). After 24 months of follow-up, among the 28 L1-positive LSIL cases, we found a 60.7% (17/28) spontaneous regression rate, whereas in the 15 L1-negative LSIL patients, the regression rate was 33.3% (5/15). Out of the 22 HSIL cases, 13.6% (3/22) had regression.


Our data support that immunocytochemical detection of HPV-L1 protein could present prognostic information about the evolution of early dysplastic cervical lesions and can be useful in predicting their biologic potential.


L1 capsid protein Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia Human papilloma virus Pap smear 



Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia


Human papilloma virus


High-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion


Low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesion


Negative predictive value


Positive predictive value


Squamous cell carcinoma


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Soheila Sarmadi
    • 1
  • Narges Izadi-mood
    • 1
  • Mojdeh Pourlashkari
    • 1
  • Fariba Yarandi
    • 2
  • Sanaz Sanii
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PathologyWomen HospitalTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Gynecology OncologyWomen HospitalTehranIran

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