Medical Specialty >> Oncology

Doctors Lounge - Oncology Answers

Back to Oncology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Head and Neck Cancer

Question: koilocytosis of the distal esophagus

 d_canoy - Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:31 pm

what is mild koilocytosis of the distal esophagus secondary to severe erosive esophagitis. biopsy result is malignant. what is the treatment and prognosis. thank you very much.
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:51 am

User avatar Hi,

Koilocytes are a type of 'dysplastic' squamous cell found in potentially precancerous lesions - cervical intraepithelial neoplasia(ex, uterine cervix).They are believed to be changes in squamous cells brought about by human papilloma virus (HPV) infection(not conclusively proven).

Papillomaviruses are well known to be oncogenic (cancer causing) in animals. In humans they are associated with benign squamous tumors (condylomata acuminata,verruca vulgaris,and papillomas) in a number of body sites.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection of the esophagus,is being increasingly reported.

Esophageal squamous papillomas (ESPs) have been identified.These are believed to be caused by Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.The lesions of ESPs show presence of significant numbers of Koilocytes.

In the west, mostly they are seen to occur in the lower third of the esophagus. However, in the japanese (in whom severe reflux disease is rare), they have been reported in the middle third of the esophagus.Curiosly, japanese women(more often younger women around 40 years of age), seem to be affected.

Two etiological factors of ESPs have been proposed...
a) hyper-regenerative response of the esophageal mucosa to mechanical & chemical irritation such as chronic food impaction, alcohol consumption, repeated minor trauma, cigarette smoking, gastroesophageal reflux diseases (GERDs)and previous gastroesophageal surgery.
b) Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.

There are case reports of mastication of verruca vulgaris associated with esophageal squamous papilloma.

Thus there is emerging evidence to link esophageal cancer to HPV via Esophageal squamous papillomas (ESPs).

If indeed some of the esophageal cancers are found to be linked to HPV, whether these tumors will behave any differently and their prognostic significance is as yet unclear.
Best wishes!

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us