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J Periodontol. 2003 Sep;74(9):1385-93.

Lichen planus and the vulvovaginal-gingival syndrome.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.


Lichen planus is a dermatologic disease that affects both skin and mucosa. Here we report five cases of lichen planus that presented as the oral component of the vulvovaginal-gingival syndrome. Four of the cases were associated with biopsy-proven oral lichen planus, and all five patients had oral lesions that clinically resembled lichen planus. Three patients were taking medications that are associated with lichenoid drug reactions; four patients were postmenopausal; and all five patients had desquamative vulvovaginitis. Clinicians may see these patients when they show persistent signs and symptoms of oral lichen planus. We report five case histories and review the 127 cases found in the literature to make the practicing clinician aware of this unusual clinical entity. The hepatitis C virus association and drug-induced lichenoid mucositis are topics that are addressed. In addition, clarification of the issues surrounding the premalignant potential of oral lichen planus is provided with evidence, rationale, and data from the literature to support the position that true oral lichen planus has no inherent predisposition to become malignant.

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