Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis

April 18, 2018

Recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, or RRP, is a kind of HPV disease where warts grow inside a individual’s airway. Even though a relatively rare condition, RRP may cause significant health problems for victims. It can even be deadly if warts grow so big that they block the tooth. It’s also quite dangerous if the benign HPV disease becomes cancerous.

RRP isn’t the same as throat cancer caused by HPV. But, RRP may result in throat cancers. The main difference is the presence of low-risk rather than high-risk virus. Most HPV-related throat cancers are brought on by oncogenic variants of the virus, but RRP is usually brought on by HPV-6 or HPV-11. These two kinds of HPV generally only cause warts and other benign ailments in the remaining part of the body, such as the genitals.


RRP can cause growths anywhere within the airway. Growths are most common from the larynx, particularly around the vocal chords. Because of this, the oldest signs of RRP tend to be hoarseness and other vocal changes. There is also the possibility of shortness of breath and other airway disorders. The symptoms depend on where the microbes are located.


The time span of the tumors related to RRP varies from person to person.

For some, the growths will disappear with a single treatment. In others, they will return multiple times. Such recurrences can occur over weeks, months or even years.


There are two varieties of RRP — juvenile start (JO-RRP) and adult onset (AO-RRP). RRP is considered to be juvenile onset as long as symptoms begin to appear before puberty.

But most JO-RRP infections are diagnosed in children five decades and under.

Risk Factors

The risk factors for AO-RRP are different than those for JO-RRP. Many infections are thought to be acquired. By comparison, the risk factors behind AO-RRP remain largely unknown, even though there is some evidence of an association with oral sex. Although there’s relatively little research on AO-RRP, it would not be surprising if this association was borne out by future research. That is especially true given that the growing evidence of an association between HPV, oral sex, and oral and throat cancer.

The U.S. government estimates that RRP happens in 1.8 of every 100,000 adults and 4.3 of every 100,000 children.

Long-Term Consequences

The harshness of RRP varies. In certain individuals, RRP will solve with one or two surgical remedies to eliminate the benign tumors it triggers. In other folks, repeated treatments will be required to eliminate the warts as they recur. So far, there’s no approved medical treatment for RRP, in other words a remedy not involving operation. But, several drugs are now being investigated that might be able limit the development of this disease in combination with surgery.

In people where RRP stays undetected or is treated, there’s a possibility of partial or complete airway blockage and maybe even death. In rare conditions, the lesions brought on by RRP can become cancerous. This seems to be more prevalent when RRP is caused by HPV variations aside from HPV-11 or even 6.

Dating Precautions

There have been very few studies to test whether having RRP puts a individual’s sexual or romantic partners at risk for the disease.There is some evidence that children and spouses of people with RRP don’t have an elevated risk of developing RRP themselves. But more data are definitely needed before firm conclusions can be drawn about the danger of a person with RRP transmitting HPV.

This is particularly true since the present study has just looked for clinical manifestations of RRP in spouses, as opposed to other signs of HPV infection.

Prevention With the HPV Vaccine

Since RRP is most often caused by HPV-6 and HPV-11, both genital warts viruses which are preventable by GardasilĀ and Gardasil 9, there have been hints that widespread usage of this HPV vaccine could also help prevent RRP. Furthermore, vaccination with Gardasil may provide not only direct protection against AO-RRP acquisition via oral sex or additional ailments. It might also provide future protection from JO-RRP within the next generation by lowering the chance of genital warts during pregnancy.

Notice: Cervarix wouldn’t be recommended for preventing RRP, because it’s targeted at just two cancer-causing types of HPV rather than the varieties which cause RRP and genital warts.