Human papillomavirus infection and laryngeal cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis

J Infect Dis. 2013 Feb 1;207(3):479-88. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jis698. Epub 2012 Nov 21.


Background: A number of molecular epidemiological studies have been conducted to explore the association of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection with laryngeal cancer. However, the findings are heterogeneous.

Methods: We systematically reviewed studies on HPV infection and laryngeal cancer published up to 15 May 2012 and quantitatively summarized the prevalence of HPV infection and its association with the risk of laryngeal cancer by means of meta-analysis.

Results: In total, 55 eligible studies were included. The overall HPV prevalence in laryngeal cancer tissues was 28.0% (95% confidence interval [CI], 23.5%-32.9%). A total of 26.6% laryngeal cancer patients were infected with high-risk HPV types only, and HPV-16 was most frequently observed type, with a prevalence of 19.8% (95% CI, 15.7%-24.6%). The meta-analysis based on 12 eligible case-control studies suggests a strong association between HPV infection and laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma, with a summary odds ratio (OR) of 5.39 (95% CI, 3.25-8.94). Different magnitudes of association were observed for HPV-16 (OR, 6.07; 95% CI, 3.44-10.70) and HPV-18 (OR = 4.16; 95% CI, .87-20.04; P < .01). Stratified analyses were performed with respect to HPV genotypes and characteristics of the study population.

Conclusions: HPV infection, especially infection due to the high-risk type HPV-16, was found to be significantly associated with the risk of laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Male
  • Papillomaviridae / classification
  • Papillomavirus Infections / complications*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk