Carcinoma of the head and neck is the 6th cause of death by cancer in the world. In recent decades the human papillomavirus (HPV) has been implicated in the etiology of this disease. OBJECTIVE: To characterize the types of HPV detected in the oral mucosa in women with cytological abnormalities suggesting intraepithelial squamous lesions in the uterine cervix. METHODS: four-hundred-nine cervical-vaginal and oral pap-smears of women interned in a Female Prison in São Paulo were examined. The relationship between cervical and oral lesion was analyzed by PCR/RFLP and DNA sequencing. RESULTS: Of 27 (6.67%) specimens showing cervical cytological abnormalities suggesting LSIL and HSIL, 22 (81.48%) had oncogenic high-risk HPV infection, of which HPV 59 was the most prevalent. Three (11.1%) samples showed cytological changes suggesting mild dysplasia in the oral cavity. CONCLUSION: Our study suggests an association between carcinoma of the oral cavity and HPV infection, regardless of the virus type.
DNA probes; HPV; polymorphism; restriction fragment length; vaginal smears