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Human papillomavirus DNA in surgical smoke during cervical loop electrosurgical excision procedures and its impact on the surgeon

Authors Zhou Q, Hu X, Zhou J, Zhao M, Zhu XJ, Zhu X

Received 17 January 2019

Accepted for publication 25 March 2019

Published 29 April 2019 Volume 2019:11 Pages 3643—3654


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Chien-Feng Li

Qingfeng Zhou,1 Xiaoli Hu,1 Junhan Zhou,1 Menghuang Zhao,1 Xuejie Zhu,2 Xueqiong Zhu1

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou 325027, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou 325027, People’s Republic of China

Objective: The purpose of this study was to explore whether human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA is present in surgical smoke generated by loop electrosurgical excision procedures (LEEPs). Furthermore, we investigated the impact of this HPV DNA on surgeons.
Methods: A total of 134 outpatients with persistent HPV infections treated with LEEP for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia between 2015 and 2016, along with the corresponding LEEP operators, were included. The flow fluorescence in situ hybridization technique was used to detect HPV DNA in exfoliated cervical cells from the patients, in surgical smoke and in nasal epithelial cells from the surgeons before and after LEEP.
Results: The positive rates of HPV DNA in the three types of samples mentioned above were 94.8%, 29.9% and 1.5%, respectively. The distribution of HPV subtypes in surgical smoke was identical to that in the cervical specimens. The positive rate of HPV DNA in surgical smoke was significantly increased for greater distances of the suction device from the surgical site. The nasal epithelial cells of two surgeons were positive for HPV DNA, and the genotypes were consistent with those in the corresponding surgical smoke. After a 3–6-month follow-up, the nasal swabs from these two doctors tested negative for HPV DNA.
Conclusions: This study demonstrated the presence of HPV DNA in surgical smoke produced by LEEP and the risk of airborne transmission of HPV DNA during the operation. Fortunately, the HPV DNA in the nasopharynx of the operators was not persistent.

Keywords: HPV, loop electrosurgical excision procedure, surgical smoke, nasal swab

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