Objectives/Hypothesis: To classify a large group of Schneiderian papillomas (SPs) into their histologic subtypes and to determine the incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV) in each subtype. Study Design: Pathologic review and polymerase chain reaction-based (PCR-based) examination of archived tissue. Methods: Slides of 114 tumors diagnosed as Schneiderian, inverting, fungiform, or cylindric cell papillomas, or any associated carcinomas, were examined by a head and neck pathologist. Using PCR, consensus primers for the L1 region of HPV were used to determine the presence of HPV in the tumors. This was also performed on normal turbinate control specimens. Results: Eighty-two (78%) were the inverting subtype, 21 (20%) the fungiform subtype, and 2 (2%) the cylindric cell type. Nine tumors were diagnosed as either verrucous or squamous cell carcinoma. Eighty-eight percent of the tumors had DNA of sufficient quality to be amplified using PCR. Of these, 5 of 69 (6.8%) inverting, 17 of 17 (100%) fungiform, and 0 of 2 cylindric cell papillomas were positive for HPV. One of nine (11.1%) cancers was positive for HPV. No normal turbinate tissue contained HPV. HPV types 6b and 11 accounted for all cases of fungiform papillomas. Of the five HPV-positive inverting papillomas, three had HPV type 11 and two had HPV type 16. The single carcinoma containing HPV contained HPV type 18. Conclusions: The histologic subtype of SPs is important, as their etiologies appear to be different. HPV 6b and 11 appear to be involved in all cases of fungiform papillomas but are only rarely involved in cases of inverting or cylindric cell papillomas. HPV 16 may rarely play a role in cases of inverting papillomas, and HPV 16 and 18 may be involved in a subset of cases of carcinomas originating in an inverting papilloma.
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