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Oral Dis. 2005 Mar;11(2):72-80.

Tongue disease in advanced AIDS.

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Department of Oral Pathology, Dental School of Piracicaba-UNICAMP, Piracicaba-SP, Brazil.



This study describes the involvement and the histological alterations found in the tongues of 92 autopsied patients who died with AIDS.


Sex, age, CD4 cell count and clinical history were obtained from the files of 92 patients who died with AIDS. All the tongues were examined for macroscopical alterations and stained using H&E, Gomori-Grocott, Ziehl-Neelsen, PAS, Brow-Hopps and Mucicarmine. Histological autopsy findings were grouped based on a protocol that was designed following the World Health Organization recommendations.


The mean age of the patients who died of AIDS and CD4 cell count were 36 years and 82 cells microL(-1), respectively. Histological alterations of the tongues were found in 75% of the cadavers. The most common lesions were hairy leukoplakia (HL) (42 cases), candidosis (31 cases) and non-specific chronic glossitis (29 cases), followed by concomitant lesions (28 cases), non-specific chronic ulceration (17 cases), melanotic pigmentation (13 cases), herpes simplex (10 cases), lymphoepithelial cysts (two cases), cryptococcosis (two cases), mycobacteriosis (one case), histoplasmosis (one case), cytomegalovirus infection (one case) and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (one case). HL with oral candidosis (n = 13) were the most common concomitant lesions.


These findings indicate that the tongue is a favorite site to occurrence of reactive, infectious and concurrent lesions in the end-stage of AIDS patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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