The role of histopathological characteristics in distinguishing amalgam-associated oral lichenoid reactions and oral lichen planus

Martin H. Thornhill, Vidya Sankar, Xiao Jun Xu, A. William Barrett, Alec S. High, Edward W. Odell, Paul M. Speight, Paula M. Farthing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

60 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: To identify histological features that distinguish amalgam-associated oral lichenoid reactions (AAOLR) from oral lichen planus (OLP). Methods: Oral pathologists provided their opinion as to the possibility of distinguishing AAOLR and OLP histologically, the features important in distinguishing AAOLR from OLP and the diagnosis of 12 AAOLR and 12 OLP cases including the features that drew them to their conclusion. Results: There was considerable variation between pathologists in their ability to distinguish the AAOLR and OLP cases. The sensitivity and specificity for histological diagnosis were 40% and 32% respectively. There were four features that were used most commonly to discriminate between AAOLR and OLP: an inflammatory infiltrate located deep to superficial infiltrate in some or all areas; a focal perivascular infiltrate; plasma cells in the connective tissue and neutrophils in the connective tissue. Each was independently predictive of AAOLR or OLP (P < 0.028). Conclusions: This study confirms the uncertainty of the diagnostic histological differences between AAOLR and OLP. Distinguishing these conditions should not rely on histology alone, but should be based on a synthesis of all available information including history, examination, histopathology and skin patch testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-240
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Oral Pathology and Medicine
Volume35
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2006

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Keywords

  • Histopathology
  • Oral lichen planus
  • Oral lichenoid reactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Cancer Research
  • Periodontics

Cite this

Thornhill, M. H., Sankar, V., Xu, X. J., Barrett, A. W., High, A. S., Odell, E. W., Speight, P. M., & Farthing, P. M. (2006). The role of histopathological characteristics in distinguishing amalgam-associated oral lichenoid reactions and oral lichen planus. Journal of Oral Pathology and Medicine, 35(4), 233-240. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0714.2006.00406.x