Epidemiology

Squamous papillomas are common in children and in adults in the 3rd to 5th decades but may be found at any age. There is an almost equal sex incidence with a slight male predominance.

Etiology

Evidence of causative HPV infection can be found in less than half of oral squa-mous papillomas {866,2516,2747}, and these lesions are the intraoral counterpart of verruca vulgaris. Many HPV subtypes have been detected including 2,4,6,7,10,40. The presence of HPV virion components ultrastructurally and immunocytochemically indicates active viral replication in the lesion. Virus transmission appears to be mostly horizontal or by autoinoculation. Lesions in children tend to arise at anterior oral sites and the source of infection is often verruca vulgaris on the skin, particularly on the fingers. Infectivity is low. The remainder of squamous papillomas are of unknown etiology. HPV sequences may be detected by PCR but the significance of this is unclear.

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