Ciliated HPV-Related Carcinoma: A Diagnostic Challenge on Frozen Section

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Oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas associated with high risk HPV show a wide morphological spectrum, including papillary, adenosquamous, lymphoepithelioma-like and sarcomatoid. We report an interesting case of ciliated HPV-related carcinoma arising from tonsillar tissue in a 55-year-old man which was associated with HPV33. This rare variant has been described in only a handful of cases in the literature, and to our knowledge this is the first case specifically associated with HPV33. The presence of cilia is a potential diagnostic problem as it has been traditionally considered a feature of benignancy, and could pose a particular challenge on frozen section. The diagnostic challenges, differential diagnosis of this tumor and the association with HPV33 are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)727-730
Number of pages4
JournalHead and Neck Pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • Ciliated HPV-related
  • HPV33
  • Mimicker


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