Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis is caused by human papillomavirus Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection Human papillomavirus (HPV) can be sexually transmitted and causes changes in cells, which can lead to genital warts or to precancer or cancer of the cervix, vagina, vulva, anus, or throat. Different... read more (HPV), a virus that causes skin warts and genital warts. Infants may get infected by this virus as they pass through the birth canal if their mother has an HPV infection of her genital region.
HPV infection of the airway can cause multiple, wartlike growths around the voice box Throat The throat (pharynx) is located behind the mouth, below the nasal cavity, and above the hollow tube that leads from the throat to the stomach (esophagus) and windpipe (trachea). It consists... read more and/or in the windpipe (trachea). The growths often come back (recur) after treatment. Rarely, they become cancerous (malignant).
Although laryngeal papillomas can occur at any age, they most commonly affect children aged 1 to 4 years.
Papillomas are suspected when parents notice hoarseness, a weak cry, or other changes in the child’s voice. Older children may have trouble speaking. Papillomas in the windpipe can interfere with breathing.
Laryngeal papillomas are detected using a laryngoscope to view the voice box. Doctors remove a piece of the papilloma for examination (biopsy) to confirm the diagnosis.
Women who get the HPV vaccine Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine helps protect against infection by the strains of HPV that are most likely to cause the following: Cervical cancer, vaginal cancer, and vulvar cancer in... read more are less likely to become infected and thus less likely to pass HPV on to their children.
Although some tumors may begin to disappear at puberty, treatment of recurrent respiratory papillomatosis is recommended. Surgical removal is the usual treatment. Many children require numerous procedures throughout childhood to remove the tumors as they reappear.
The following is an English-language resources that may be useful. Please note that THE MANUAL is not responsible for the content of this resource.
Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis Foundation (RRPF): A resource providing information and support for parents and caregivers
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