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Braz Oral Res. 2006 Apr-Jun;20(2):103-7.

Prevalence of oral hairy leukoplakia in 120 pediatric patients infected with HIV-1.

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Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Fluminense Federal University.


Oral hairy leukoplakia (OHL) is an EBV (Epstein-Barr virus) opportunistic infection found in HIV-infected patients. It is an asymptomatic lesion that has an important prognostic value in AIDS. Differently from what takes place with HIV adult patients, OHL has been described in the literature as having a very small prevalence in pediatric patients. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of OHL in HIV pediatric patients using cytopathology. The sample consisted of 120 patients who were submitted to oral examination and had material scraped from both sides of their tongues. The diagnostic criterion was based on the identification of nuclear alterations. Clinical OHL was identified in two (1.67%) patients. The cytopathology revealed twenty (16.7%) cases of subclinical OHL. Our results show that in pediatric patients the prevalence of OHL may be larger than that described in the literature.

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