Use of exfoliative cytology in the diagnosis of oral hairy leukoplakia

Cesar A. Migliorati, Anne Cale Jones, Patricia A. Baughman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The possibility of diagnosing oral hairy leukoplakia by means of exfoliative cytology and the Papanicolaou stain was investigated. Exfoliative cytology and punch biopsy specimens were obtained from 10 lesions that demonstrated clinical features of hairy leukoplakia. All biopsy specimens demonstrated the characteristic histopathologic features of hairy leukoplakia whereas all Papanicolaou-stained cytologic smears demonstrated condensation and margination of the nuclear chromatin (nuclear beading). All biopsy specimens and cytologic smears displayed positive Epstein-Barr virus deoxyribonucleic acid in situ hybridization. We conclude that routine exfoliative cytology may be a reliable, noninvasive, and inexpensive technique for the diagnosis of hairy leukoplakia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)704-710
Number of pages7
JournalOral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Dentistry(all)


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