Oral lichen planus: A retrospective study of 110 Brazilian patients
BACKGROUND Oral lichen planus (OLP) is a chronic inflammatory disease with different clinical presentations that can be classified as reticular, atrophic or erosive. Although OLP is a relatively common disorder, the reports comprising large numbers of OLP patients with specific character are lacking in the literature. The purpose of this paper was to describe the clinical characteristics of OLP in 674 Chinese patients. METHODS A total of 674 charts of patients with histologically confirmed OLP were collected from Stomatological Hospital of Wuhan University between 1963 and 2003. RESULTS Of the 674 patients, 65.9% were women and 34.1% were men. The most common clinical presentation was the reticular type (51.3%), and symptomatic OLP was noted in 67.5% of the patients, mainly in those with the erosive form. The erosive presentations showed significantly longer duration, more sites affected and a much greater old patients predominance than reticular or atrophic ones. About 90.9% of the patients had multiple oral sites of involvement and isolated lower lip lichen planus were observed in 60 cases (8.9%) and isolated gingiva lichen in only one case (0.2%). Skin involvement of lichen planus was found in 11.4% of patients. No statistically significant differences could be identified between OLP and diabetes, cardiovascular disease, smoking or alcohol use. Precipitating factors that resulted in an exacerbation of the disease were frequently noted and included foods, stress, dental cusp and poor oral hygiene. The transformation of OLP into malignancy was observed in four patients at sites previously diagnosed by clinical examination as erosive or atrophic lichen planus. CONCLUSIONS Patients with OLP in China usually present with distinctive clinical morphology and characteristic distribution and few may display lesions with a confusing array of forms mimicking other diseases. A long time follow up is of utmost importance to detect its malignant transformation.