Case report: human papilloma virus type 120-related papillomatosis mimicking laryngeal carcinoma

Valeria Belvisi, Salvatore Martellucci, Anna Rosa Garbuglia, Cosmo Del Borgo, Stanislao Martellucci, Andrea Baiocchini, Anna Maria Manicone, Oreste Bagni, Claudio Maria Mastroianni, Andrea Gallo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The relationship between human papilloma virus (HPV) and upper respiratory tract pathology was better understood in recent years and represents now an issue of particular interest in carcinogenesis and in immunocompromised host. We describe a case in which a rare genotype HPV-related papillomatosis mimics laryngeal carcinoma in an immunocompromised host. Methods: A 54-year-old woman with a history of HIV–HCV coinfection and anal and laryngeal cancer successfully treated some years before was hospitalized for severe dyspnea, cough and dysphagia. Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation raised the suspicion of tumor relapse showing the presence of a large glottic-supraglottic ulcerated mass. Several laryngeal biopsies demonstrated koilocytosis and p16 expression, according to a possible HPV infection, and focal figures of mild dysplasia of epithelium. 18 F-FDG PET/CT did not show high glycolytic activity at laryngeal level. An invasive upper respiratory tract papillomatosis in an immunocompromised host was suspected because of the patient’s clinical improvement after antiretroviral therapy. Conclusion: Pharyngeal swab and oral rinse harboured the same HPV120 genotype sequence, a betapapillomavirus of recent description and not yet related to any similar clinical presentations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-713
Number of pages5
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2017


  • HPV 120 genotype
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Human papilloma virus (HPV)
  • Laryngeal papillomatosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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