Laryngeal Papillomatosis (Respiratory Papillomas)- For Medical Students
Laryngeal papillomatosis, also known as recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, is a rare medical condition in which benign tumors (papilloma) form along the aerodigestive tract. The tumors are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV) infection of the throat. The tumors may lead to narrowing of the airway, which may cause vocal changes or airway obstruction. Laryngeal papillomatosis is initially diagnosed through indirect laryngoscopy upon observation of growths on the larynx and can be confirmed through a biopsy. Treatment for laryngeal papillomatosis aims to remove the papillomas and limit their recurrence. Due to the recurrent nature of the virus, repeated treatments usually are needed. Laryngeal papillomatosis is primarily treated surgically, though supplemental nonsurgical and/or medical treatments may be considered in some cases. The evolution of laryngeal papillomatosis is highly variable. Though total recovery may be observed, it is often persistent despite treatment. The number of new cases of laryngeal papillomatosis cases is at approximately 4.3 cases per 100,000 children and 1.8 cases per 100,000 adults annually.