Tumours of the lacrimal duct apparatus (LDA) are rare and heterogenous but knowledge of their aetiology is important for the rhinologist. A link between transitional cell papilloma/carcinoma (TCP/TCC) and human papilloma virus (HPV) has been suggested in previous studies. We aimed to add to this body of evidence by submitting 16 LDA tumour samples from our tertiary referral centre for HPV analysis.
All LDA tumour samples stored in the University College London tissue bank were submitted for HPV analysis by centralised nucleic acid extraction and HPV genotyping via a sensitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
Only one of six transitional cell papillomas tested positive for HPV. Two of three transitional cell carcinomas returned HPV 16 positive results. Two inverted papillomas submitted were also HPV positive.
Previously published literature has suggested a strong link between HPV and neoplasia of the lacrimal system. HPV has previously been demonstrated in all TCP and TCC. This is in contrast to our data, particularly for transitional cell papilloma where, in the largest sample of transitional cell papilloma in the literature thus far, we did not find a strong association with HPV. This casts doubt on the role of HPV in the papillomatous process in the lacrimal apparatus.