Human Papillomavirus-Associated Neoplasms of the Head and Neck

Surg Pathol Clin. 2017 Mar;10(1):35-55. doi: 10.1016/j.path.2016.10.007. Epub 2016 Dec 29.


Human papillomavirus (HPV) is an essential causal factor in a subset of head and neck neoplasms, most notably oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, for which HPV infection has important diagnostic, prognostic, and therapeutic implications. This article summarizes the current understanding of HPV-associated neoplasms of the head and neck, including the recently described carcinoma with adenoid cystic-like features. Salient clinical, gross, and microscopic features are discussed, and the utility of specific ancillary studies is highlighted.

Keywords: Carcinoma with adenoid cystic-like features; Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; Oropharynx; Sinonasal (Schneiderian) papilloma; Squamous cell carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Adenoid Cystic / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Adenoid Cystic / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Adenoid Cystic / virology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / diagnosis
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / virology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / virology*
  • Humans
  • Papillomaviridae*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / complications*
  • Papillomavirus Infections / diagnosis
  • Papillomavirus Infections / pathology