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May 1993

Human Papillomavirus Infection in Papillomas and Nondiseased Respiratory Sites of Patients With Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis Using the Polymerase Chain Reaction

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Preventive Medicine (Dr Smith) and Pathology (Drs Haugen and Turek), College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City; the Disciplina de Otorrinolaringologia, Departamento de Oftalmo-Otorrinolaringologia, da Escola Paulista de Medicina, São Paulo, Brazil (Dr Pignatari); the Division of Otolaryngology, Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City (Dr Gray); and the Department of Pathology, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Iowa City, Iowa (Drs Haugen and Turek).

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1993;119(5):554-557. doi:10.1001/archotol.1993.01880170080017

• We examined human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in biopsy specimens and cellular scrapes that were taken from respiratory papillomas and six nondiseased sites from the respiratory tract of seven patients. Human papillomavirus was detected by polymerase chain reaction amplification, followed by DNA hybridization with probes for specific HPV types. All papillomas (100.0%, n=5) were positive only for HPV type 6 or 11. In the nondiseased site specimens, 61.3% (19/31) of the specimens were positive, again only for HPV type 6 or 11. Among the nondiseased site specimens from the cervical trachea, intrathoracic trachea, and bronchus, 80% to 100% were HPV positive compared with only 25% to 50% of HPV infection detected in the nasopharynx, posterior tonsillar pillar, and aryepiglottic fold. These results support the tenet that HPV infection is present in clinically normal respiratory tract tissue and that the reservoir site of reinfection is more commonly in the lower airway. However, patients with upper-airway involvement were more likely to be diagnosed as having severe disease.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1993;119:554-557)

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