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Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol. 1985 Sep;60(3):285-98.

Proliferative verrucous leukoplakia. A long-term study of thirty patients.


Up to 6% of oral leukoplakia, a relatively common mucosal disease, can be expected to become malignant. This report describes a long-term study of 30 patients in whom a particular form of leukoplakia was identified and labeled proliferative verrucous leukoplakia (PVL), a disease of unknown origin, which exhibits a strong tendency to develop areas of carcinoma. PVL begins as a simple hyperkeratosis but tends to spread and become multifocal. PVL is slow-growing, persistent, and irreversible, and in time areas become exophytic, wartlike, and apparently resistant to all forms of therapy as recurrence is the rule. The disease was most commonly seen in elderly women and had been present for many years. Patients were followed for 1 to 20 years. Thirteen died of or with their disease, 14 were alive with PVL, and 3 were alive without PVL at last contact. PVL rarely regressed despite therapy. All patients who died had persistent or recurrent disease. PVL appears to constitute a continuum of hyperkeratotic disease, ranging from a simple hyperkeratosis at one end to invasive squamous cell carcinoma at the other. Microscopic findings are dependent upon the stage of the disease's development and the location and adequacy of the biopsy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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