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An Bras Dermatol. 2010 Sep-Oct;85(5):669-75.

Oral lichen planus (OLP): clinical and complementary diagnosis.

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  • 1Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Service, Santa Casa de Sao Paulo, Brazil.


Lichen planus is a common disorder of the stratified squamous epithelium that affects oral and genital mucous membranes, skin, nails, and scalp. Oral Lichen Planus (OLP) affects middle-aged women and shows distribution patterns and characteristics such as white striations, white plaques or papules, erythema, blisters and erosions, and may be associated with medication and/or dental materials used by the patient. The clinical diagnosis can only be made if the disease presents classical patterns such as concomitant lesions in the oral mucosa and skin. The laboratory diagnosis is histopathologically characterized by the presence of projections of the epithelium in the form of sawtooth and Civatte bodies and allows the exclusion of dysplasia and malignancy. Direct immunofluorescence is used when there is suspicion of other diseases, such as pemphigus and pemphigoid. OLP is treated with anti-inflammatory agents, particularly topical corticosteroids; new agents and techniques have proved effective. The malignant transformation of OLP and its exact incidence remain controversial. This work aims at presenting, through literature review, the etiopathogenesis, clinical diagnosis, laboratory tests, and complications of OLP.

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