Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis: A 2020 perspective

Jacob J. Benedict MD & Craig S. Derkay MD, FACS, FAAP


Objective: Despite recent advancement recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP) remains a rare but challenging benign airway neoplasm. In recent years there has been significant shifts in incidence of this disease due to changes in vaccination and prevention for human papilloma virus (HPV) and its related pathology. This review will highlight the epidemiology, prevention and treatment of RRP.

Methods: The PubMed database was searched using relevant MeSH terms including “recurrent respiratory papillomatosis.” The titles and abstracts were reviewed to assess relevance and unrelated articles were excluded. A full-text review for select articles was performed, the data and discussions were interpreted and synthesized to create a concise update on the management of RRP.

Results: With the increasing utilization of the 9-valent and quadrivalent HPV vaccine in Australia, we have seen a significant decrease in the incidence of RRP. Preliminary data in the US shows a similar trend of decreased incidence after implementation of vaccination. Single dose Gardasil in developing countries has shown sustained immunization for at least 7 years. Preliminary clinical trials and retrospective studies have shown the HPV vaccine may have benefit as a treatment method in addition to prevention for HPV related diseases. Bevacizumab (Avastin), a VEGF monoclonal antibody, has shown promise as a systemic treatment for RRP. The Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected perioperative management of RRP.

Conclusion: RRP continues to decline in incidence since the implementation of HPV vaccination. Advancement in the medical management including Bevacizumab show promise as an additional option for the management of RRP.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

© 2021 The Authors. Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC. on behalf of The Triological Society.