Background: Conflicting data exist regarding the contribution of human papillomavirus (HPV) to the development of head and neck squamous cell papillomas. Methods: Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded papillomas were tested for 28 mucosal and 79 cutaneous HPVs using polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based methods. Results: Eighty-three papillomas (43 oropharyngeal, 31 oral, 6 laryngeal, and 3 nasopharyngeal) were analyzed. Twenty-four samples (28.9%) harbored mucosal HPVs: 3 oropharyngeal (6.9%), 15 oral (48.3%), 4 laryngeal (66.7%), and 2 nasopharyngeal papillomas (66.7%). Eighty-one cases were also tested for cutaneous HPVs, detected in 16 lesions (19.7%): 11 (13.5%) harbored only cutaneous types, and 5 (6.2%) were positive for both cutaneous and mucosal HPVs. Among these 81 cases, prevalence of mucosal and/or cutaneous HPV infection was 43.2%. Conclusion: HPV DNA detection in a fraction of head and neck papillomas supports the role of HPV in their development. However, other markers need to be considered to confirm the association of HPV infection with these lesions.
- oral cavity
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