Pathologic material and the records of 29 patients with laryngeal papillomatosis were reviewed. The relationship between the type of human papillomavirus (HPV) and the presence of viral coinfections was correlated with clinical outcome. Using polymerase chain reaction, paraffin-embedded specimens were analyzed for the presence of HPV, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), and herpes simplex virus (HSV). The HPV type could be identified in 24 patients' specimens. Twenty-one patients were infected with HPV type 6. The other 3 were infected with HPV type 11 or 16. Three patients developed squamous cell carcinoma, of whom 2 had HPV type 11 or 16. We found HSV, EBV, and CMV in 50%, 12.5%, and 0% of specimens, respectively. An aggressive clinical course was observed in 17 patients. Evidence of coinfection with other viruses was identified in 11 (65%) of these patients. In contrast, a benign clinical course was observed in 7 patients, of whom 2 (29%) had viral coinfections. We conclude that the HPV type and the presence of viral coinfections may be predictive of an aggressive clinical course.