Sinonasal inverted papilloma: rate of recurrence and malignant transformation in 44 operated patients

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Introduction: Although sinonasal inverted papillomas are benign lesions, they are locally aggressive and have a potential malignant transformation ranging from 5% to 15%, with a high recurrence rate. Objective: The aim of this article is to describe the rate of recurrence and malignant transformation in patients with a diagnosis of inverted papilloma who underwent surgery in a tertiary hospital in São Paulo. Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of patients diagnosed with sinonasal papilloma who had undergone surgery in a tertiary hospital in São Paulo, between August 1998 and August 2017. A patient chart review was conducted to assess data of patients’ demographics, tumors characteristics, follow-up appointments, recurrence and malignancy. Inverted papillomas were analyzed and classified under the Krouse staging system. Results: A total of 69 surgeries were performed in patients with diagnosis of sinonasal papilloma. Inverted papilloma was the most prevalent subtype (49 cases ‒ 80.33%), followed by exophytic papilloma (6 cases ‒ 9.84%) and by oncocytic papilloma (6 cases – 9.84%). The recurrence rate was 34.09% for inverted papilloma (15/44) and the mean time of recurrence was 24.6 months. Malignant transformation occurred in 6 patients (13.64%). Three of these patients presented carcinoma in the first surgery and three patients developed carcinoma during the follow-up. Conclusion: The high recurrence rate and malignancy potential allow us to consider inverted papillomas as aggressive tumors. In a tertiary hospital in São Paulo the recurrence rate was 34.09% and the mean time to recurrence is 24.6 months. The recurrence after 10 years implies the need for long-term follow up. It is possible that the high recurrence rate and the high malignant transformation rate we found are due to the large number of tumors discovered at an advanced stage (most of them staged T3 and T4), secondary to poor access to health system, in developing countries.




Sbrana, M. F., Borges, R. F. R., Pinna, F. de R., Neto, D. B., & Voegels, R. L. (2019). Sinonasal inverted papilloma: rate of recurrence and malignant transformation in 44 operated patients. Brazilian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology.

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