, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 260-262
Date: 20 Aug 2009

Common Head and Neck Cases in Our Consultation Referrals: Diagnostic Dilemmas in Inverted Papilloma

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Papillomas of the nose and paranasal sinuses comprise three morphologically distinct variants—everted papilloma, inverted papilloma and cylindric cell papilloma in descending order of frequency. Recurrence of everted papilloma is unusual and malignant change does not occur. However, inverted papilloma is associated with multiple recurrences and malignant change. The histology of low grade squamous cell carcinoma of the nose may mimic that of inverted papilloma and low grade squamous cell carcinoma may coexist with inverted papilloma and be present in the same biopsy material. There is a high index of suspicion of concomitant malignancy in the presence of severe atypia or hyperkeratosis. Columnar cell papillomas are also associated with an increased risk of malignancy but the rarity of these lesions makes accurate assessment of malignant potential difficult. The most common diagnostic dilemma for pathologists referring cases for second opinion is the recognition of low grade malignancy versus benign inverted papilloma at presentation and in lesions which recur. Recent studies have addressed the requirement for histological parameters to predict the clinical course of these lesions and new molecular markers are being applied to tissue diagnosis. The early recognition and treatment of malignancy associated with inverted papilloma is key to decreased morbidity and improved patient survival and forms the basis of this discussion.