Objective: To assess the presence of different types of human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA in colorectal adenomas.
Design: The extracted DNA of 109 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections of colorectal adenomas were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction and Southern blot hybridization. The correlations of HPV types 6, 11, 16, 18, and 33 DNA with the histological patterns of adenomas were also analyzed.
Results: Human papillomavirus DNA was detected in 28% of the adenomas. There were eight (21%) of 38 in tubular adenomas, 13 (33%) of 40 in tubulovillous adenomas, and 10 (32%) of 31 in villous adenomas. All HPV-6/11-positive cases were tubular or tubulovillous adenomas. However, most HPV-16 infections (8/12) were seen in villous adenomas. Human papillomavirus-positive adenomas included three (8%) of 38 that showed mild dysplasia, 10 (25%) of 40 that showed moderate dysplasia, and 18 (58%) of 31 that showed severe dysplasia.
Conclusion: The association of the histological type with HPV-16 and the association of the grade of epithelial dysplasia with HPV DNA were highly significant. These associations support the adenoma-carcinoma hypothesis. In addition, the results suggest that HPV infection may be an important factor for the development of colorectal neoplasia.