Oral Lichen Planus: A Comprehensive Review of Pathogenesis, Clinical Subtypes, Malignant Potential, Diagnosis and Management.

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Dr. Aswathy Vijayan, Dr. Arvind Muthukrishnan


Lichen planus (LP) is a chronic inflammatory disorder that most often affects middle-aged adults. LP can involve the skin or mucous membranes including the oral, vulvovaginal, oesophagal, laryngeal, and conjunctival mucosa. It has different subtypes based on the morphology, severity of the lesions and the site of involvement. The burden of the disease is higher in some variants like erosive oral LP, which may have a more chronic pattern and have malignant potential. LP can significantly affect the quality of life of patients as well. Drugs or contact allergens can cause lichenoid reactions as the main differential diagnosis of LP. LP is a T-cell mediated immunologic disease but the responsible antigen remains unidentified. The role of viruses in the pathogenesis and subsequent malignant transformation of OLP has to be explored in depth. In this paper, we review the pathogenesis, clinical subtypes,malignant potential, histopathologic aspects and management of OLP.

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