Frequency of young patients with oral leukoplakia (OL) and oral lichen planus (OLP) in a population of Western Sicily

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BACKGROUND: Oral Leukoplakia (OL) and Oral Lichen Planus (OLP) are oral potentially malignant disorders (OPMDs) of the oral cavity. OL is a clinical term which is based on exclusion criteria after excluding other white lesions. The WHO in 2005 defined leukoplakia as “a white plaque of questionable risk having excluded (other) known diseases or disorders that carry no increased risk for cancer”. This lesion is seen most often in middle-aged and elderly men. Although leukoplakia can occur at any age, it often occurs in individu- als under the age of 40. OLP is a chronic immunologically mediated mucocutaneous disorder of stratified squamous epithelium of uncertain etiology that affects oral and genital mucous membranes, skin, nails, and scalp. OLP is estimated to affect 0.5% to 2.0% of the general population. This disease has frequentely been reported in middle-aged patients with 30-60 years of age and is more common in females than in males (F:M=65:35). The aim of this study is to evaluate the frequency of young patients with OL and OLP in a population of Western Sicily.METHODS: A retrospective analysis of patients with diag- nosis of OL and OLP was performed. Secondary hospital- based subjects consecutively referreing from March 2012 to February 2016 to the Sector of Oral Medicine, University of Palermo, were considered. Patients with histologically con- firmed diagnosis of OL and OLP were selected. Among them, subjects under 40 years old were identified. Data regarding related risk factors (i.e. tobacco use) were reviewed.RESULTS: From a total of 4022 subjects, 417 cases of OL and 846 cases of OLP were identified. Patients aged under 40 and with a confirmed diagnosis were 35 (8.4%) and 42 (4.9%) with OL and OLP, respectively. The mean age was 35.6±3.8 in the OL patients and 35.4±4.5 in the OLP patients. In the OL group, 19 smokers (mean 20.2 cig/die for 15.14 years) were identified and 5 patients were former smoker. In the OLP group, 13 smokers (mean 13.3 cig/die for 9 years) were identified.CONCLUSIONS: The results of the study shows a high frequency of OL and OLP in young subjects (8.4% and 4.9%,respectively). The frequency founded is higher than that reported by literature. Considering the growing onset of these OPMDs in young patients, paying more attention to the diag- nosis is needed, in order to avoid possible complications and malignant transformations.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2015

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