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We have evaluated the polymerase chain reaction for the detection of viral DNA sequences in paraffin-embedded archival tissues. In 63 frozen cervical biopsy specimens that were taken from premalignant and invasive lesions, Southern blotting detected human papillomavirus (HPV) type 16 DNA in 28 (44%) of the samples. In the polymerase chain reaction analysis of the formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded mirror biopsy specimens, 46 (73%) of the tissues were found to be positive for HPV type 16. In three Southern blotting-positive cases, the DNA of the paraffin-embedded sections was too scant or too degraded to allow the detection of HPV DNA by the polymerase chain reaction. In 21 Southern blotting-negative cases, HPV type 16 DNA could be demonstrated in the archival sections by the polymerase chain reaction technique--a sensitivity improvement of more than 80% over the standard method of HPV detection in tissues.


Journal article


Arch Pathol Lab Med

Publication Date





632 - 634


Base Sequence, Biopsy, Blotting, Southern, Cervix Uteri, DNA, Viral, Female, Humans, Molecular Sequence Data, Oligonucleotide Probes, Papillomaviridae, Polymerase Chain Reaction