Overview | Understanding the Disorder | Symptoms | Diagnosis | Treatment | Frontiers

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Image "A"Key Glossary Terms

Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis (RRP)
Wart-like growths in the airway passages caused by the human papilloma virus; these growths usually form on the vocal folds, causing a voice disorder

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
The virus that causes recurrent respiratory papillomatosis; HPV also causes genital warts

Wart-like growth caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV)


In Brief
Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP) is a disorder characterized by wart-like growths (papillomas) on the surface lining of the airway passages (also called the respiratory tract, which includes the throat, voice box, and trachea). The human papilloma virus (HPV) causes recurrent respiratory papillomas. (This virus also causes genital warts.)

Because the viral infection is very difficult to eliminate, RRP frequently recurs even after removal of the growths.
Recurrent: Regrows after removal since infection is very difficult to eliminate
Respiratory: Having to do with the breathing passageway, which includes the throat, voice box, and trachea
Papillomas: Wart-like growths caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV)

Children Are Vulnerable
Recurrent respiratory papillomas are detected in both children and adults, but tend to be more aggressive in children.

Disease Severity Varies From Mild to Extensive
The disease varies greatly in severity among patients.
For some patients, the disease will go into an extended or even permanent remission
For other patients, the growths may be quite extensive in the respiratory tract

  • Patients with RRP may suffer from voice disorders as a result of the condition.
  • Severe RRP Can Be Life-Threatening
  • Severe RRP can cause breathing difficulties and can be life threatening.

Treatment Options
Treatment of RRP is directed at:

  • Removing the wart-like growths
  • Improving voice function and/or improving breathing
  • Slowing or stopping the cycle of viral regrowth

Treatment options are continually being improved via instrumentation and treatment techniques and the development of new anti-viral drugs.

Image Red FlagRed Flag
Any and all airway problems require immediate attention.

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Patient education material presented here does not substitute for medical consultation or examination, nor is this material intended to provide advice on the medical treatment appropriate to any specific circumstances.

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