Inflammatory polyps are associated with significant aural or nasopharyngeal disease in cats. It has been proposed that chronic viral infection may induce the masses. Ventral bulla osteotomy (VBO) is usually recommended for definitive therapy but removal of masses from the nasopharynx or external ear canal by traction / avulsion is also used. A retrospective study of 28 cats with inflammatory polyps was conducted to correlate recurrence with mode of therapy. Tissues from 41 polyps were assayed for feline calicivirus and feline herpesvirus-1 by RT-PCR and PCR, respectively. Of the 14 cats initially treated by traction/avulsion, recurrence was detected in five of nine cats with radiographic evidence of bulla disease but none of the cats with normal bullae. Traction/avulsion is a reasonable treatment for inflammatory polyps if the bullae are radiographically normal. Failure to detect feline calicivirus and feline herpesvirus-1 suggests that tissue persistence of these viruses is not associated with the development of inflammatory polyps.
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